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chuck21189 chuck21189 is offline
Newbie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 9
Where's it Going Wrong?

I really cannot see what the problem is with my website
http://www.freewebs.com/pwtrading

Since our launch in August, nobody has bought anything despite from distributing 125 postcards around Leeds town centre and numerous business cards to our friends. Basically I can't really see where it's going wrong and well I'm kind of wondering if anyone give any ideas as to where the problems are or anything?

Cheers, Paul
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Widgey's Avatar Widgey Widgey is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,872
Using freewebs as a account holder and a subdomain and also using paypal, I wouldn't order from you.

I suggest getting a payment gateway and investing in some webspace and a domain name.

Sorry if that is a little harsh, but just my opinions, good luck either way!!
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richardh richardh is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 246
Would you honestly buy something from such a site yourself?

A big part of e-commerce is trust and your website just makes you look untrustworthy; it's cheap, poorly designed, slow and incomplete.

You don't list your contact details (a legal requirement) which for me is an instant turn-off for any web shop.

You're also selling such generic things that huge online stores also sell: why should i buy a computer mouse from you (with your limited 'stock') when i can go to Dabs or Amazon and get guaranteed service from companies that i trust (and probably are competitive on price)?

I'm not surprised that you're not had any sales

Sorry to be negative Paul.

Is this drop shipping too?
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chuck21189 chuck21189 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 9
Me and my partner thought of getting a domain name and things propper; but we thought we'd wait to see if it takes off and then plough money into it... i guess we learned the lesson the hard way.
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hellerooo hellerooo is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 223
Hi Paul

I like the look of your site, but i've got a few suggestions (not that I know much!!)....

1. the name of the page has the word 'cos; in it. It should be 'cos not cos'. That's really petty, but some people are that petty!!

2. The yellow text for your heading paragraph should be changed. I love the font you used for 'bargain buy', it's clear and looks smart! Also I wouldn't centralise the heading text in this case.

3. The body text - I would change the font to the font you've used in the 'updates' section. Again, t looks clear and smart.

4. Change the paypal button. PayPal have dfferent styles of buttons that don't have their name on. I'm not against paypal, but on your homepage it makes the business look a little amateur. You can bring paypal into the equation at checkout. I use paypal for my payments, so i'm not being funny!

5. I would remove the visitor counter at the bottom of the homepage. If I came accross your site I would assume that you'd been trading for years, seeing just 200;ish visitors would make me nervous at parting with my money.

That's only my opinion. Hope it's some use to you.

Helen
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chuck21189 chuck21189 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 9
"Is this drop shipping too?"

Yes. It explains the limited stock really. It hasn't really been finished because nobody was buying anything and then I started my A level courses so it got forgot about.

I understand what you mean totally so don't feel harsh about it lol - thanks for the reply!
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shredder shredder is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 55
I must admit to being fascinated by your problem - which is, in my view, what do you need to do to persuade people to buy from you rather than someone else.

I dont think its the website (although it doesn't help), you could have the best designed best looking most expensive site and i dont think it would help at all.

I think its the product range, your selling a very limited odd mix of low cost things - irons, ipod accessories etc.

You are competing against well know brands on the web now, you need to persuade them to shop with you rather than them.

I dont think this is possible for a newcomer in a market to compete with established brands unless they offer something very different that the existing competition doesn't offer e.g. - much lower prices, better quality, much quicker delivery, a significantly better quality service or different way of shopping e.g. i will plant a tree/save a squirrel/ for every £100 spent on my site so shop with me and save the planet .

Otherwise customers will ask themselves "why should i buy from someone i dont know, who none of my friends knows and who doesn't give me anything i cant get from a site I already trust.
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chuck21189 chuck21189 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 9
This is whereabouts I get to my wits end; because I have sat down for hours and tried to this something new and novel to provide which will put the website a cut above... but I didn't get very far at all. Any Ideas anyone?
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Spiralling Spiralling is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 241
"Returns Policy - Coming soon. We can only do one job at a time!"


The returns policy should be done before your site goes live, and if such a small job as this is left and can't be fitted in, there's no way I would part with cash - how would you find time to process my order?
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chuck21189 chuck21189 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 9
reading these posts you've left is like going on a journey of self guilt...

It just seemed like a big job at the time; i mean initially me and m y partner though we could put together a no quibble policy, whereas if there is a problem with an item or if they arent happy with it, its straight back no questions asked. Would that be risky to put something along them lines?
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franglo franglo is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 94
A couple of points...

- There's no trading address and telephone number displayed. If I ordered something from you, I doubt I'd ever actually call, but it would be reassuring to know that if there was a problem, I could get on the phone. I assume you're trading from home? If you're worried about giving out your private landline, get a VoIP phone number for next to nothing and protect your privacy that way. No one need ever know it's not a traditional line.

- You're using a freewebs hosting account and an AOL address. Too unprofessional for me. It costs hardly anything to pick up a .co.uk domain, but it gives the impression you've invested in the business. A free hosting account says you're testing the water and will scarper if you get bored. What does that mean for the customer? You're going to stop trading next week? It makes alarm bells ring.

- No returns policy. I need to know this. What happens if the item is faulty? If I've ordered the wrong thing? If I don't like it? What do I do? The answers for these kind of questions should be transparent.

- The counter. Hate it! I see no need for visible counters on people's websites - this may just be a personal thing, but I really do see big ones like that as a throw back to the 90s and all of the horrible design work that went on then.

- The computer on the left. Why is it on every single page? Either have something different depending on the category or replace it (the better option) with a logo. You can get one for as little as £60 if you ask the right person.

- Web design. Tidy it up a bit. Again, not expensive to get someone in, or alternatively, you can do it yourself if you set aside enough time for it.

I know it looks like a bit long list of criticism, but all the points I've mentioned can all be fixed, and will greatly improve your web site. In my opinion, at least. Good luck.
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protoolkits protoolkits is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 158
You may also want to think about your overall business plan. What are you trying to create? What vision are you trying to deliver against?

I suggest that you focus on a niche. Something that you are personally interested in. Then look at getting some stock suppliers and providing some value added content. E.g. if it was iPod covers then perhaps some reviews and customisation pictures.

Then start to build your business around that niche. You need to invest in the business (hosting, domain) and make sure that your site looks the part. Start simple with the design. If you can't design yet then get to the library and borrow some books or look online, or pay someone to do it for you.

Then think about where you can market your niche site and do it. Listen to customers and adjust your proposition accordingly.

Think about why people will want to go to your site to buy and focus on those reasons- forget about price for the time being.

Just some ideas

Cheers
Lee
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openmind's Avatar openmind openmind is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: In front of my computer
Posts: 3,480
Quote:
Originally posted by chuck21189
Me and my partner thought of getting a domain name and things propper; but we thought we'd wait to see if it takes off and then plough money into it... i guess we learned the lesson the hard way.
I won't repeat the other points but I will agree with them.

You don't actually need to spend a lot of money to improve the professionalism. We could set you up with a UK domain and a years hosting for less then £40 and that would make a massive difference straight away...
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Jiminite Jiminite is offline
Entrepreneur
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 42
You could also add more products onto your homepage. Everyone goes to the homepage and the more products you have (without getting over cluttered) the more chance there'll be something that catches their eye. People don't want to go through the whole website looking for something you might have.

I totally agree with having a .co.uk name for yourself. It makes you look more professional and therefore more trustworthy.

PayPal "Add To Cart" button could do with a change. Pay Pal has a list of options. Mention PayPal about it being secure (that's what I do on my site), but don't have it on the Add To Cart buttons. People might think "Oh I need a PayPal account to buy something" (which they don't) and go elsewhere.

Your products have "Inc P+P", but I'd personally like "Free Delivery". People think "free" and think they're getting more of a bargin.

Finish the website (Returns Policy, etc) because people might think "if they haven't finished the website then there'll be problem with my order".

Have a look a competitor's website to look at their layout, prices, design, etc and get some ideas.

These are just opinions, but I hope this helps.
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freeform freeform is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 227
I'm in agreement with all the points from above, but without wanting to rub salt in the wound so to speak, once the site is sorted there's a long way to run in terms of marketing it.

In reality 125 postcards and a bunch of business cards to friends isn't much marketing at all - even with a great site I'd have been surprised if you'd had any sales with that.

Get the site sorted first and then sit down and create a marketing plan
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