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Traffic up, Sales Down?

Discussion in 'General Marketing' started by nfzgrld, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. stephenmunday

    stephenmunday Peon

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    #21
    stephenmunday, Sep 1, 2005 IP
    SEMrush
  2. nfzgrld

    nfzgrld Peon

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    #22
    Well, I've learned that one thing I need is to add specification info to the product descriptions, as well as "punching" them up a bit. The latter will take time but is doable. The former is turning out to be a real problem. No one seems to have basic specs such as length, etc. It's fine to have a knee length skirt, but that really depends on how long the lady's legs are, right? It helps if she know how long the skirt is. How I'm going to solve this I don't know, but I obviously have to do it pretty quick.
     
    nfzgrld, Sep 1, 2005 IP
  3. stephenmunday

    stephenmunday Peon

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    #23
    I would search for other online stores selling the same products and see how they solve this problem.
     
    stephenmunday, Sep 1, 2005 IP
  4. unTangled

    unTangled Peon

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    #24
    Unfortunately, you have to work a lot harder in the online clothing industry than in most others. I think the reason you're having so many hits and so few sales is that a lot of people like to do their research online, looking for styles etc. before they get it from a shop where they can try it on, make sure it fits, feel the fabric. I would suggest offering a sale to start with, and introduce a loyalty programme where they can earn points towards future purchases, this will get you repeat sales. Maybe also a $5 voucher for every friend they send to you who buys something.

    Hope that helps :)
     
    unTangled, Sep 4, 2005 IP
  5. nfzgrld

    nfzgrld Peon

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    #25
    As a matter of fact I'm working on a program like that right now. First, however, I have another idea I'm working on. I'm going to put up a survey and offer $10 credit for everyone who completes it. Right now I'm looking at what kind of questions to ask. Should I go with a lot of very specific questions and really try to drill down? Or should I stick with general questions to just get a feel for where the problems are from the perspective of the user? I'm leaning heavily toward the latter option as I think it will give me useful results faster, but having more detail could give me a lot of usful info I haven't even thought of yet.
     
    nfzgrld, Sep 4, 2005 IP
  6. stephenmunday

    stephenmunday Peon

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    #26
    That sounds like a really good idea. I agree that general is probably best, but the question is what kind of general questions? I think you want to know:

    1. What kind of products they are looking for? (This would give you a hierarchy for how to display them later to visitors - most popular products get most visibility.)

    2. Why would they buy at your site? Try to brainstorm as wide a range of possible answers as possible.

    3. Maybe give them an open-answer question like this: "My perfect clothing shopping site would have a really cool feature that...."

    Just some ideas. Hope this helps with your brainstorming.
     
    stephenmunday, Sep 4, 2005 IP
  7. nfzgrld

    nfzgrld Peon

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    #27
    Thanks, it actually does. In fact it helps a lot. It gives me that first line/sentence/questions/whatever that is always the hardest one to come up with. I hope to have the survey online by the tomorrow since I can take all night and all day tomorrow to work on it.

    Thanks to everyone who participated in this discussion. I have a much more solid idea of where I should go from here and how to go about getting there.
     
    nfzgrld, Sep 4, 2005 IP
  8. stephenmunday

    stephenmunday Peon

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    #28
    Remember to keep us update through this thread about how your site fairs. Its always really interesting to hear what boosts conversion.

    Oh, the other thing I thought you can look at for signs of improvement is time on site and number of returning visitors (as a percentage). Even if you don't see extra sales immediately, you may realize you are on the right track when people stay longer to look around and come back more often.
     
    stephenmunday, Sep 5, 2005 IP
  9. wwwlilthreadscom

    wwwlilthreadscom Peon

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    #29
    Wow,
    Lots of good advice here! You know I was watching a tv program the other night about online businesses and it was said the online clothing shops are the hardest businesses to have because people want to try on and feel the item before they purchase it. There was one particular company they were interviewing that said one of the things they offer to deal with this problem is to offer free shipping on all items that have to be returned. They even send every order out with a return slip just in case. This may or may not be something you can do but I thought you would like to know anyways. I am in the apparel business myself but I sell childrens clothing and have a sizing chart but I personally do not offer free shipping on returns. Hope this helps!

    E'Lisa
     
    wwwlilthreadscom, Sep 6, 2005 IP
  10. stephenmunday

    stephenmunday Peon

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    #30
    That's a good idea, Elisa. Never thought of that.

    How about this for a slight twist on that: Offer the customers free shipping for returns,like you said. But in addition, offer them a say $5 / $10 discount coupon (redeemable only at your online store, of course) when they make a return to say "Sorry it didn't work out this time, and it was probably a pain for you to have to spend time mailing this back, but if you give us another chance, we will show you that our clothes are the best!"

    That way, you can try again to get your disgruntled customer to become a loyal customer. It's worth it, considering how much you have invested into them already (winning them to make a purchase from you and then the admin expense of emailing with them to help them return the unsatisfactory product), and how much value they could have for you in the future in terms of referrals and repeat purchases.
     
    stephenmunday, Sep 6, 2005 IP
  11. wwwlilthreadscom

    wwwlilthreadscom Peon

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    #31
    Sounds like a great idea! Customers are only loyal because they trust the company they are buying from. Anything you do to gain their trust will gain their loyality as well!

    E'Lisa
     
    wwwlilthreadscom, Sep 6, 2005 IP
  12. stephenmunday

    stephenmunday Peon

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    #32
    Here's another idea to increase customer loyalty - increasing benefits with a more repeat purchases.

    In other words, say after you make more than 1 purchase, each time you get a $5 discount coupon for your next purchase of $30 or more. After more than 10 purchases, you get a $10 discount each time for your next purchase of $50 or more. After you make more than 20 purchases, you get the $10 discount coupon each time and free shipping etc.

    From Nicholas's first post, it seems that the hardest thing in the world is winning the customer in the first place. My scheme above would be a small price to pay to keep that person coming back.

    This is great brainstorming ideas!
     
    stephenmunday, Sep 6, 2005 IP
  13. nfzgrld

    nfzgrld Peon

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    #33
    Indeed! This is very instructive and is giving me some really great ideas. By the way, I have the survey online now, you can check it out at this URL: http://www.mari-len.com/survey/survey.php?uid=2431f12aa5091f. I just put it up so I don't have any results to speak of yet, but hopefully over the next week or so I'll start seeing some trends.
     
    nfzgrld, Sep 7, 2005 IP
  14. carowan

    carowan Peon

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    #34
    Both of these sites are great resources. Average conversion rate for an online retailer is 2% and upto approx 5% for Amazon. Grokdotcom just published a book on increasing conversions, I kept one copy and gave 2 away in June on the forum.
     
    carowan, Sep 7, 2005 IP
  15. GRIM

    GRIM Prominent Member

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    #35
    I haven't been able to read through all the info but have read a little and will send a few items I think you can change that would help. I have been in 'unique' online sales since about 1999 and know all to well about traffic stats that don't add up compared to your sales.

    #1 Your front page, at least in my monitor resolution does not cut it. You have 3 products acrossed which I can only view 2, the painful scroll over is a killer. I personally would try to make this a bit more friendly for the viewers even if it takes killing it to 2 products acrossed in your tables.

    #2 Your category pages I would definitely change. First I would add a direct buy link, secondly I would add partial info to products at least more info than you have directly in the category listing. I think you could also easily get rid of the model number in the category view. It's almost to much to digest plus think you'd be better off by having this be something such as 'sizes available' not sure if this is possible with the script you're using. I would also get rid of the purple table border and use a ligher shade from product to product, using 2 colors and changing each time.

    #3 If pay pal is the only payment option you accept I would have a page listing in detail on how to use Pay Pal and other info, what Pay Pal is etc. This alone can lose you a ton of sales. I would also think about accepting money orders, checks, etc and getting a merchant account to accept direct credit cards as soon as possible. Pay pal is great for those who know what it is, but alot of people believe it or not have no clue on it.

    Not a ton of info here but might help a little I hope :)
     
    GRIM, Sep 7, 2005 IP
  16. nfzgrld

    nfzgrld Peon

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    #36
    Ok, sounds good.

    The front page works great down to 800X600, or at least it did until I made the last change, which was not that big a deal. I do notice that in IE it spreads out due to the idiotic IE implementation of CSS. I'll fix that today, thanks for the heads up. I'll have to remember to test in IE 800X600 next time.

    Ok, I'm buying most of this.

    I think you're right on some of this. I know I have to do something with paypal becasue while I have no data to support it, I think that is a major problem. I'm going to work on some of this stuff today and see how I do.
     
    nfzgrld, Sep 7, 2005 IP
  17. GRIM

    GRIM Prominent Member

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    #37
    Hope I was able to help even a little. Nobody will beable to give you an all out cure, it does take some trial and error. Think you'll be on the right track, at least you're trying and seaking out info which is a huge plus, I'm sure the rest will come to you.

    Another tip, try to work in other items into your store and categories if possible, even low cost items that go with the style of the store. Some of my personal big sellers will have huge drop offs and not sell very good for weeks even though i still get the traffic at these times it's nice to have other items, even if novelty to pick up the slack.
     
    GRIM, Sep 7, 2005 IP
  18. stephenmunday

    stephenmunday Peon

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    #38
    I agree with hrblcantra about getting another payment option. Ironically, I use WorldPay, but some people find that their credit cards are blocked when using it and the other thing is that they won't let me use Amex coz I am based in Japan. So I am thinking of adding Paypal as an additional payment option.

    From what I have read, it is best to give more than one option and it seems that I will be able to recover otherwise lost sales if I do. So I guess I am saying - don't drop Paypal, but supplement it with another provider.
     
    stephenmunday, Sep 7, 2005 IP
  19. nfzgrld

    nfzgrld Peon

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    #39
    Ok, I fixed the layout problems in IE, and I made some other minor changes. The payment processing thing is still a problem. I think I'm going to add another processor, probably worldpay or someone like that. So far I haven't gotten any response to the survey. I hope I don't spend the next week looking at blank results, that would really suck!
     
    nfzgrld, Sep 7, 2005 IP
  20. GRIM

    GRIM Prominent Member

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    #40
    Personally I like the layout much better now, both the front page and now the category pages look much better with your table lay out.

    Pay Pal, have you thought of listing an info page on your side navigation, possibly called 'payments accepted' with as much info as possible on how to use Pay Pal, how to sign up, and what payments you can use via Pay Pal? Such as credit card, echeck, pay pal funds, etc. This has helped me greatly in my Pay Pal store sales :)
     
    GRIM, Sep 7, 2005 IP