Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Please review my website?

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  • #990822
    pollypolkadot
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    Hi there,

    If you have a few minutes to check out my website, and give some feedback, that would be amazing. Everyone I have talked to IRL has told me they think it is great, but I am sure they are just being polite… I know that everyone here will be polite AND honest!

    I have actually put off asking for this review since launching my site in November because I am embarrassed for it to be looked at and judged, especially by fellow business people, which I feel doesn’t bode well for anything.

    1.What needs reviewing? (i.e. logo, website, idea etc…)
    The website as a whole. The website is http://www.pollydot.com.au

    2. What does your business do?
    My business is an online homewares and gift store, my products are vintage/retro inspired.

    3. Who is your target market?
    People who are into vintage/retro style things. They are generally women aged 25-45.

    4. What specific concerns do you have?
    I would like to know what you think I should fix first- what you think is the most important change and the reason for that. You are welcome (and encouraged) to list all the things that need to be fixed/issues etc, but I would like you to single one thing out as the most urgent.
    The reason I want opinions on what should be fixed first is that I probably already know all, or most, of the issues that you are going to find, the things that need improving and the suggestions you could make about what needs to be added.

    For some background, I am using a hosted e-commerce provider called OzCart. I am happy with the functionality and service I am receiving for the price I pay, which is a monthly fee. Once I can afford it, I will be getting a website built independently so things can be exactly the way I want them, but for now, this is what I have. As people here tend to say, start it now and fix it up later! I do have some scope to move things around, which I can partially do myself as I have access to most of the layout and a basic understanding of how to work it. Otherwise I can request changes/help from the technical support people. Unfortunately my website is not responsive (I thought it was when I signed up :( ), instead it has a separate generic mobile site, so if you are viewing it on a mobile, it isn’t very exciting or branded design wise. This isn’t something I can fix unless I change providers or the one I am with introduces responsive sites.

    Here are a few things that I plan to sort out, so feel free to pick one from this list or tell me one of your own.
    – The homepage. I really can’t stand it. I like my banner artwork, but I don’t like sliders. Especially ones that take up the entire above the fold area. And the bottom bit is so poorly done too.
    – Start the blog.
    – Fix up the product descriptions.
    – Get a phone number
    – Accept credit cards (can’t be done until I have a phone number)
    – Add a terms/conditions and privacy page
    – Fix newsletter signup to look inviting
    – Actually create a newsletter… I have been having trouble figuring out the email setup, so I don’t want to start a newsletter until I have that sorted.
    – Fix up the keywords, I missed doing some of them
    – Activate my testimonials areas, and get some testimonials to put on there (can’t be done until email issue is sorted)
    – Ask people to make reviews on the products (this is active, but as above, emails)
    – Get my own favicon
    – More things that I can’t think of now…

    If you have read this far, THANK YOU! Sorry for writing so much!

    #1178719
    Anonymous
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    Hi there pollypolkadot,

    Firstly, good on you for requesting a review and for putting so much thought into it before you started. That’s usually the way to get the best results out of this process, so I’m sure you’ll be glad you invested the time in it.

    I’ve only had a quick look at the site, and LOVE your products, but the most annoying thing for me as a first time shopper was that I clicked on one of the individual products in the slider, and instead of being taken to that product, I was directed to your category page.

    I think if you’re going to use the slider, try to link it to relevant product pages.

    I’ll be interested in what suggestions the rest of the brains trust have to offer too.

    Best of luck for your review,
    Jayne

    #1178720
    IncredibleCo
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    Hi Polly.

    My biggest problem with your website (and others may disagree) was that the majority of your products looked like the products I could get at my local mall. Target or Kmart even.

    If this is an online business only, I think you will struggle with the competition that already has a huge foothold.

    If you also run a real world outlet and that’s doing rather well, I would suggest focussing entirely on that.

    Sorry for this bleak message. In my defense I wish your business all the success you can get.

    Best – Phil.

    #1178721
    MatthewKeath
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    IncredibleCo, post: 208260 wrote:
    Hi Polly.

    My biggest problem with your website (and others may disagree) was that the majority of your products looked like the products I could get at my local mall. Target or Kmart even.

    Best – Phil.Not sure about that, I can’t recall seeing those products in Kmart or Target.

    The site looks ok for something you built yourself.

    I actually went to buy something – a hula girl. I went to checkout and saw the shipping was $10 which would make my impulse buy $20. If the product was $13 and free shipping, I would have bought it no worries.

    As it was I decided again buying it.

    #1178722
    pollypolkadot
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    FS Concierge, post: 208239 wrote:
    Hi there pollypolkadot,

    Firstly, good on you for requesting a review and for putting so much thought into it before you started. That’s usually the way to get the best results out of this process, so I’m sure you’ll be glad you invested the time in it.

    I’ve only had a quick look at the site, and LOVE your products, but the most annoying thing for me as a first time shopper was that I clicked on one of the individual products in the slider, and instead of being taken to that product, I was directed to your category page.

    I think if you’re going to use the slider, try to link it to relevant product pages.

    I’ll be interested in what suggestions the rest of the brains trust have to offer too.

    Best of luck for your review,
    Jayne

    Hi Jayne,

    Thanks for your reply!

    To clarify, do you mean that you want to be able to click on a picture of a specific item on one of the sliders and go to the page for that item only? eg on the “homewares” slider you would like to go directly to the page for the cake tins, if that is what you clicked. OR would you like to go to a page that had the five items shown on that slider?

    As they stand, the sliders are supposed to be advertising categories, so that is why the “homewares” slider goes to the entire homewares category. But it is good to know that that night not be the most preferred option. I’ll have a think about that, thank you.
    I actually really hate the slider though and will be trying to get rid of it in favour of a multiple static banner arrangement if I can!

    Thanks again,
    Polly

    #1178723
    MatthewKeath
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    MatthewKeath, post: 208276 wrote:
    Not sure about that, I can’t recall seeing those products in Kmart or Target.

    The site looks ok for something you built yourself.

    I actually went to buy something – a hula girl. I went to checkout and saw the shipping was $10 which would make my impulse buy $20. If the product was $13 and free shipping, I would have bought it no worries.

    As it was I decided again buying it.

    I made an important typo in the post above.

    I should have said ‘decided against buying it’

    #1178724
    ThexArm
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    Hi, Colors are good for the retro theme.

    Your logo on the header seems too big as a result there is a bit of white space on the header on the top. If you could align “Vintage inspired homewares and gifts” message nicely in the header it would look much better.

    About us link in your footer is broken.

    Just an idea – would there be any demand if you sell smart phone cases with retro/vintage prints?

    Since categories are linked to your slider it would be nice to have the products appearing on the slider to list on the front page of that category page when you click on that slider. So that if someone likes a particular product on the slider when clicked they would find it on the first page without having to search through the pages.

    Goodluck with your business.

    #1178725
    pollypolkadot
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    IncredibleCo, post: 208260 wrote:
    Hi Polly.

    My biggest problem with your website (and others may disagree) was that the majority of your products looked like the products I could get at my local mall. Target or Kmart even.

    If this is an online business only, I think you will struggle with the competition that already has a huge foothold.

    If you also run a real world outlet and that’s doing rather well, I would suggest focussing entirely on that.

    Sorry for this bleak message. In my defense I wish your business all the success you can get.

    Best – Phil.

    Hi Phil,

    Thanks for your reply. I did ask for peoples honest opinion, so that is totally ok! I don’t have a bricks and mortar store, I am online only.

    It is interesting that you say that… I guess you could find products similar to some of what I have in such stores, but most of the items I stock are exclusive brands that are only sold in smaller independent stores like mine.

    People who are in my target market are ALWAYS on the hunt for items that suit their taste, and they would know that the items in my store aren’t in K-mart or the local mall, because they have looked there already!

    Thanks,
    Polly

    #1178726
    pollypolkadot
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    MatthewKeath, post: 208276 wrote:
    Not sure about that, I can’t recall seeing those products in Kmart or Target.

    The site looks ok for something you built yourself.

    I actually went to buy something – a hula girl. I went to checkout and saw the shipping was $10 which would make my impulse buy $20. If the product was $13 and free shipping, I would have bought it no worries.

    As it was I decided again buying it.

    Hi Matthew,

    Haha yes, I understood despite the typo!

    Thanks for the feedback re shipping. I 100% agree with you. Personally I would never purchase something if the shipping was the same price (unless I HAD to have it). I would either look to see if there were more items I wanted to purchase to diminish the postage or I would just cart abandon. Surprisingly though I have had customers buy a $10 item and go right ahead with the $10 postage, and even one who bought a $20 item and coughed up for the $20 express post option!!

    I am offering free postage from today for the next week (that was already planned) as a promotion, and to see if it helps sales at all. We shall see how that goes. So, if you still want that Hula Girl for $10 (she was yesterday’s daily deal, which I promote on social media), get in now before I put her back to the regular price lol! :p

    Thanks,
    Polly

    #1178727
    pollypolkadot
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    ThexArm, post: 208286 wrote:
    Hi, Colors are good for the retro theme.

    Your logo on the header seems too big as a result there is a bit of white space on the header on the top. If you could align “Vintage inspired homewares and gifts” message nicely in the header it would look much better.

    About us link in your footer is broken.

    Just an idea – would there be any demand if you sell smart phone cases with retro/vintage prints?

    Since categories are linked to your slider it would be nice to have the products appearing on the slider to list on the front page of that category page when you click on that slider. So that if someone likes a particular product on the slider when clicked they would find it on the first page without having to search through the pages.

    Goodluck with your business.

    Hi ThexArm,

    Thanks for the reply.

    You are right about the header. Originally I just had a blank white space there, with no header. I think I read here in some other reviews when others had no header that people were not pleased by that, so I added one in. I tried for ages to get it to sit right, but that was the best I could manage alone. I will have to ask the support people to fix it up for me.

    Oh, yes, it is broken! Thanks for that! Not sure why, I’ll have to get onto that!

    The only phone cases I have access to at the moment (currently only buying from Australian wholesalers) were for iphone 5, and I decided that if I couldnt get 6 as well, I would just not bother. I will definitely get some once the product range expands though and I start buying from overseas. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

    That is a good point about the slider, I am not sure if I have that functionality, but I will look into it.

    Thanks,
    Polly

    #1178728
    IncredibleCo
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    @Matthew – I’m the same. Far more likely to buy a product that has free shipping. It’s a BIG plus for me.


    @Poly
    – I admire your enthusiasm!

    #1178729
    Anonymous
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    pollypolkadot, post: 208281 wrote:
    To clarify, do you mean that you want to be able to click on a picture of a specific item on one of the sliders and go to the page for that item only? eg on the “homewares” slider you would like to go directly to the page for the cake tins, if that is what you clicked. OR would you like to go to a page that had the five items shown on that slider?

    As they stand, the sliders are supposed to be advertising categories, so that is why the “homewares” slider goes to the entire homewares category. But it is good to know that that night not be the most preferred option. I’ll have a think about that, thank you.

    Hi Polly,

    Sorry for the slow reply, but I’ve been away from the forum for a few days.

    I clicked on the image of the pile of cake tins, and was taken to a category page (one of four pages in that category). Not only was the pile of cake tins not on the first page, but it wasn’t anywhere in the subsequent three pages either.

    I didn’t realise the slider was taking me to a category page, and now that I’ve revisited the site with that awareness, I think the issue is that the headline text on each of the sliders is so striking in comparison to the text on the banner that you almost assume that ‘Don’t call me homely Homewares’ or ‘Vintage Collectibles’ is the name of the site.

    You might be able to address that by changing the text on them (e.g. ‘See our full range of homewares’), but as others have mentioned, I also think that this is may be a symptom of the fact that banner design isn’t doing as good a job for you as the beautifully designed images in the slider.

    Hope that helps,
    Jayne

    #1178730
    pollypolkadot
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    FS Concierge, post: 208590 wrote:
    Hi Polly,

    Sorry for the slow reply, but I’ve been away from the forum for a few days.

    I clicked on the image of the pile of cake tins, and was taken to a category page (one of four pages in that category). Not only was the pile of cake tins not on the first page, but it wasn’t anywhere in the subsequent three pages either.

    I didn’t realise the slider was taking me to a category page, and now that I’ve revisited the site with that awareness, I think the issue is that the headline text on each of the sliders is so striking in comparison to the text on the banner that you almost assume that ‘Don’t call me homely Homewares’ or ‘Vintage Collectibles’ is the name of the site.

    You might be able to address that by changing the text on them (e.g. ‘See our full range of homewares’), but as others have mentioned, I also think that this is may be a symptom of the fact that banner design isn’t doing as good a job for you as the beautifully designed images in the slider.

    Hope that helps,
    Jayne

    Hello :)

    That is ok! Thanks for taking the extra time to answer my questions.

    All of those are good points, thank you. It is hard to see that sort of thing when you are so involved. I will definitely change the wording for the banners when I have them fixed up to fit my static arrangement.

    Thank you again!

    Polly

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