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suejspencer
22-11-2010, 05:57 PM
I'm trying to do a bit of research, that you maybe able to help me with.

I have a website that my cousin made for me. I've had it for a few years and never had any orders from it! I wanted to revamp it, but to be honest I want to start from scratch. So I've been looking for ideas.

Do any of you have web sites? and if so do you get orders?

Please have a look at my current one and let me know what you think?
www.susanspencercards.co.uk (http://www.susanspencercards.co.uk). Some of the items are old stock, this is why I need to work on it.

Plus my cousin maintains it and last year when I wanted to change it, he was being a bit funny about it. Saying it looked nice! It was bright pink with red & yellow buttons. So I'm not sure what he's going to say when I design something new!

I would appriciate any advice. Thanks
Susan

Caroleecrafts
22-11-2010, 06:07 PM
I had a similar problem some years ago my website was started and the person that got it up and running, a made it more complicated than it was, I now use the same software and have no problems and b when I changed the desing the other month got a bit funny with me but tough my site, my business up to me what design I use. Back to your question yes I have a website, maintained by myself and yes I get orders through it, make sure you are using your meta tags.

Found your site a bit slow to load, could be the time of day, also got a bit confused if you were selling finished cards or the parts to make up the cards. The finished cards are shown as small icons and the picture larger. You have no terms and conditions and no address or telephone number, these must be displayed under the DSR, this could stop customers ordering as they do not know who or where you are. Also a bit long winded to order could you not use the drop down menus with paypal, keeps it on the same page as the card and makes it quicker.

nattynetty
22-11-2010, 06:15 PM
Blimey it took me about 6 clicks before I got to the point where I could buy a card - I can imagine any potential buyer got fed up before that stage. It might be easier just to have a few key categories such as 'Mens Birthdays' 'Womens Birthdays' 'Special Occasions' etc etc and have all the relevant cards listed under these as that's how customers will search rather than separate them by technique. You can also get Paypal add to cart buttons to put next to each card - that would save a few more clicks for the customer.

Hope I don't sound too negative, it just really struck me how it wasn't very user friendly.

Edit - just saw Caroline's post and agree it was very slow to load for me too.

wendy
22-11-2010, 06:27 PM
Hi

Yes I have a website and yes I sell on it - at the moment I've got about 60 items to make up and send out. It's taken a long while to get to the stage where I'm selling a reasonable amount and a website does need marketing like anything else.

First, are you actually getting visitors? If not, you'll need to address how you're going to get people on the site first of all.

Second, I found it a bit fiddly to use and would probably have got fed up before I bought anything. The colours and moving text are a bit hard on the eyes, but much more importantly, I'd like to see the price and ordering details (buy now button) displayed by the image and description - it seems unneccessary to click onto a separate page to buy.

Third, I can understand why you've separated your cards into categories like decoupage, novelty, iris folding, etc., but your customers are probably more interested in seeing them in categories such as births, weddings, etc. I know I wouldn't want to be clicking in between the categories to compare two or three wedding cards, for instance.

Caroline is right, you do need contact details on there - address and phone number. It does make a customer feel happier about ordering and it keeps it legal.

I hope this doesn't all sound negative and I don't want it to be disheartening - there is obviously a lot of work gone into it already and I'm sure it can be built on! Best of luck with it! :)

AliCat
22-11-2010, 06:50 PM
Please forgive me but I am going to be 'cruel to be kind'....

There are some problems on your site which I think explains why you haven't received lots of online orders:

1. The first thing I read that the site was last updated in April - it is nearly December now and I would instantly think that it was an old site and maybe not being used anymore and therefore would worry that any order would not be dealt with.
2. The site is not easy to navigate as you have to jump from one page to another to find prices for cards. There is no price on the page containing the photograph and no way to order from that page and on the price list there is no photograph. This would put me off instantly. If you imagine going into a physical shop where there is a dress you like in one room but it doesn't have a price on it. You have to leave the dress behind and go into another room to look up the price and get access to another room with a till in it to make your purchase (but you can't see the dress in there to check it is the one you want). How many times would you keep going from room to room to decide what you want to buy? That is what it is like in an online store - it is a virtual walk through your shop and you want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy what you are selling.
3. The home page is very long and wordy and the colours do not give it a professional appearance. I also don't fully understand why everything is 'Susan Spencer's...' (obviously I do realise this is your name and the name of your site but it is so unnecessarily repetitive).
4. Your product photos, prices and order buttons should all be together on one page grouped together by style/type as they are now but getting rid of the extra price list section. You also need to have your address and telephone number on the site to comply with Distance Selling Regulations and whilst I may have missed them, I couldn't see them anywhere. You should also have some terms & conditions including a returns policy (again required by law under DSR).

The navigation is very long winded and once you click on a photo to see a larger version, it is difficult to get back to where you were and I was constantly having to return to the home page and start again (the left hand links show 'Up' and 'Home'. 'Up' really doesn't tell a visitor anything with regards to where it takes you and therefore you feel like you have hit a dead end). I also don't understand why the first item on the price list says that it is permanently out of stock! I clicked on one card to jump to the price list and this is what I saw, because the photo isn't included I could have thought that this related to the card I had clicked on (it was a different card) - if something is permanently out of stock - remove it!

Sorry that I sound so negative but if you want a chance of getting orders online, it takes a lot of work both on building the site and promoting it. I don't claim to have a superb site (and don't sell cards) but I use Create.net to build mine which is easy to do and you could develop a much more professional site with full e-commerce solution for little outlay (feel free to have a look at mine - address in my siggy). You also have full control over the design, updates and development and it really doesn't have to take forever to do (just a short time each week to keep it up to date). Why not take advantage of the 30-day free trial and have a go... (and no, I don't have any link to Create other than I use them for my own site).

Keep going - it took me nearly 2 years of trial and error to get my site how I like it and I am still tweaking it now - it is an ongoing job for sure but well worth it in the end.

Hope my comments haven't offended - I really am just wanting to give a push in the right direction and wish you lots of luck in the future.

Butterfly-Crafts
23-11-2010, 12:15 AM
I just wanted to mark a space and then come back in the morning and respond properly!

I have 2 websites, one is my main URL www.butterfly-crafts.com and the selling part links to my ARtfire page www.butterfly-crafts.artfire.com

suejspencer
23-11-2010, 03:40 PM
Thank you to all. I really appriciate all the feedback. I think this will help me when I go back to my cousin. He can then see where we are going wrong and maybe he will take notice to what I want. I just wish I could design and maintain my website myself. But I don't know if I'm confident enough to know what I'm doing. I know what I want, but making it is another matter and I'm not sure if I could afford to pay a company to do it for me.

I just have to watch a lot of tutorials on youtube to learn what I need. I need to start again and not have so many pages. Also I agree when my product is out of stock I need to remove it. It was my cousin who said just put 'out of stock'. I need to take control!

I haven't taken any offence to any of the comments. I'm pleased that people are telling me what is wrong with it so I can put it right. It might take me some time, but I'll get there. I have some really nice products which are not on there and I need to start selling myself better. If there is any more feedback I welcome it.

Once again Thank you.
Susan

nattynetty
23-11-2010, 03:49 PM
Susan there are plenty of website packages out there that are very easy to use, you just load them up and follow the instructions - probably very similar to listing on ebay I should imagine (might be talking out of my backside here but that's what I've been led to believe). A couple of my fellow mods have Mr Site websites TipTop www.tiptoptoppers.co.uk and Woodtattoos www.woodtattoos.co.uk and personally I think they look great and they've told me in the past it's very easy to use...and only about 20 to buy I believe. It could be worth looking into as it would give you the control you want and won't make you run screaming to the hills with the technical stuff.

moni219
23-11-2010, 04:32 PM
Hi I also sell cards.Had a look at your site.I do not think it is your site,i found it ok.
I hope you will not mind me saying though,I do think your prices are to high,sorry.

the card shark
24-11-2010, 03:28 PM
Hi I also sell cards.Had a look at your site.I do not think it is your site,i found it ok.
I hope you will not mind me saying though,I do think your prices are to high,sorry.

I don't think the prices are too high given the work involved. It may mean that cheapskate customers don't purchase but much better that then risk being out of pocket or working for practically nothing.

People do pay more for a special card.

Butterfly-Crafts
24-11-2010, 04:44 PM
Im not sure if you have looked at my website www.butterly-crafts.com (http://www.butterly-crafts.com) yet but I built it in Weebly which is a free web building package and its all just drag and drop, no html needed. Admittedly I do have the payment part on Artfire but on Weddbly you can use their payment pages (Paypal) to sell your own things

moni219
25-11-2010, 09:32 AM
Sorry but I disagree,I find that only other crafters realy know how much work goes into them.i have regular customers who pay a lot,but I would rather sell for a bit less at fairs,and SELL!!!

the card shark
25-11-2010, 10:23 AM
Sorry but I disagree,I find that only other crafters realy know how much work goes into them.i have regular customers who pay a lot,but I would rather sell for a bit less at fairs,and SELL!!!

Then what's the point of making them to sell if you sell without making much profit?

Moni - Can I ask you a question? How much profit do you actually make from selling your cards at a craft fair? I'm interested in the actual profit not the amount on money you take in on the day. Can you let us know your figures please?

1. Cost of stall (on average)
2. Amount of money taken in on the day
3. Cost of materials (of the cards that you sold on the day)
4. Other costs (insurance, bags, business cards etc. for the day)
5. Actual profit made on the day

Sue - apologies for hijacking your thread. I still maintain that your prices are fine. There's a seller on Folksy who sells the majority of her cards around the 5 (excl. p&p) mark and she's sold 198 cards so far.

My cards are a bit on the cheap side (3 to 5 each but price does incl p&p) and I've only sold 22 online. Work that one out!

I do agree with most of the other comments on here about your website. Setting up my own website was much too daunting a task for me which is why I chose to set up a shop on Folksy instead.

Fluffy Squirrel
25-11-2010, 11:14 AM
Sorry but I disagree,I find that only other crafters realy know how much work goes into them.i have regular customers who pay a lot,but I would rather sell for a bit less at fairs,and SELL!!!

Moni, would I be correct in thinking that you make/sell as a hobby as oppose to a money making business?

I really cannot understand why anyone trying to succeed in business would deliberately undervalue their work just for the sake of making a sale... yes have special offers, etc from time to time to entice new customers, clear older stock, etc but all the time? Surely his makes no sense.

Obviously this is just my opinion.

Laura x

Caroleecrafts
25-11-2010, 02:03 PM
Sorry but I disagree,I find that only other crafters realy know how much work goes into them.i have regular customers who pay a lot,but I would rather sell for a bit less at fairs,and SELL!!!

I agree with Carol and Laura if you are in business and not a hobby you have to price and sell realistically to live, you can have special offers or sales of old stock but to price just to sell and not take into account all your overheads, most business would be out of business if they did that. As my lively hood I cannot sit and make then sell for no profit, may as well give the goods away and beg for food to survive. This is were there is the difference between hobby and business is so apparent.

Your prices are not to expensive Susan, competitively priced for the quality and standard of work produced.

nattynetty
25-11-2010, 02:11 PM
Your prices are not to expensive Susan, competitively priced for the quality and standard of work produced.

Compare your prices to the mass produced 'hand finished' cards in Clintons and you'll find they sell for between 3 and 6 so for a handmade card I agree that Susan is pitching them at about the right price....however people will only pay those prices online if the whole website (including photos and descriptions) gives the right professional impression - and that's where your cousin's work doesn't quite hit the mark.

Caroleecrafts
25-11-2010, 02:15 PM
I agree re the website with Netty, you need to take control form your cousin at the end of the day it is your site, your reputation, there are plenty of suppliers out there where the sites are easy to use and you do not need a degree in web design to use them.