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katherinegrace katherinegrace is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 6
website

[quote=pcbranding;147897]Dear Katherine/Grace(!)
Your website feels very handmade and not particularly exciting (I'm a graphic designer, not a web designer!) It needs to be up there with the high street retailers in terms of style and you need to really push your product through photography and be more visual. This doesn't mean expensive photoshoots, products can be laid out flat on glass, grass, timber backgrounds or folded up and shot on tops of brick walls, pinned to walls...there are all kinds of cheap ways of offering something that says 'style' and design-awareness, that can be achieved with a digital camera.
My background is in high street retail brands and one of my smaller clients is a womens online fashion retailer www.flaiver.com.

I loved the above website & would like to create something similar. I have discussed this & thought that maybe it is better to separate my website http://www.reach-for-the-skies.co.uk the thought is to set up a free e-commerce website that is simple & fashion focused. I have spoken to a photography student and I am hoping to get them on board to improve photos also. However does anyone know a recommended free website company? I have looked at a few with hidden charges. Does anyone recommend the company: www.signup.freewebstore.org?
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katherinegrace katherinegrace is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 6
website

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyssa Rose View Post
ive joined your group and invited everyone in my list so at least a few people will see it, Just one thing, your shop is called self... and your website reach for the skies... why didnt you call your website self or vice versa, when I see a hope i like i type in the name so your shop namedoesnt relate to your website.. or am i just being slow lol xx
Thank you for your help. The website has a different name because it started long before the shop was born but I do agree the website should have the name Self in it.
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Jarvooo's Avatar Jarvooo Jarvooo is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Manchester
Posts: 547
See i recognise contrasting statements with the idea of using free templates or free web services; anyone can recognise these a mile off, even some have "powered by free web templates" etc included aswell and i think as a web presence; this isnt good at all. Think of it this way, a user see's that - they get the impression you cant be bothered; so why should they??

Personally i think you're best looking at a solution which is cost effective but as professional as possible, with a website you;re shining in a light and you want to look your best - right ?
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Alyssa Rose Alyssa Rose is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Nottingham
Posts: 90
id just like to say that Mines free and has the free tag on, and nearly everyone i speak to says it looks fab and I dont think it has to cost money to look amazing. Web designers obviously will say its a pile of rubbish because they either want you to go with them but my clients love my website and at the end of the day if your clients like what you have done your on the right track. Id just make your website more uniformed and make sure you have a clear distinctive logo or theme so that as soon as they click on to your website they know that its your boutique xx thats my pennies worth!
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http://alyssa-rose.co.uk
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sepak.takraw.uk sepak.takraw.uk is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SE London
Posts: 23
Is a nice Flash site but the "free" aspect often makes people suspicious. I have a lot of experience with this mentality, being an open source software advocate. People only focus on the fact they don't have to pay money for the software and instantly assume it must be inferior to proprietary solutions. Sadly that's the way of the world and I don't expect it to change for quite some time. The reality is open source software powers the vast majority of the Internet from Web Servers to Content Management Systems. In fact this website uses PHP which forms a key part of the popular LAMP stack...

Sorry. Gone off on a bit of a tangent - I'll leave it there
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VLAHAKISA VLAHAKISA is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Birmingham, UK
Posts: 1,494
Being Proactive

It doesn't matter how good your website looks if no one is visiting it - basically if you want to make online sales you need high traffic, that's the very most important thing.

Of course also before you can make sales from that traffic a website must not be off putting or confusing to navigate, and it must at least be 'reasonably' professional and attractive in appearance. It also needs to give the customer the information they are looking for, and give it to them fast.

I suspect with Alyssa Rose you don't rely on the website to gain all of your custom, and you employ other means of marketing to gain customers. I doubt the website is the main source of your customer base? That your customers don't all find you online?

If so it's hard for you to say that your website is 'performing' just because your customers like it. A website is actually performing when it's a direct source of customers ... if it's not driving sales its not really doing much at all for that business.

If you are a business intending to use the Internet almost entirely to drive business, you need to first of all have a decent website, whether this is free or not is neither here nor there, and then you need to find a way to get lots and lots of people from the right target market visiting it.

If you can't manage the website for whatever reasons, then you need to make use of things such as Facebook, Twitter and more.

Proactivity and change is required in this particular situation basically to drive sales.

If you keep doing the same thing, you will just keep getting the same result.


Amanda
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carolinem's Avatar carolinem carolinem is offline
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That was my point about not actually re-doing the website at all and using email marketing instead - building a new site is a massive outlay with no guarantee of a return.

You need something which is GUARANTEED to connect with people who want to buy your product, and which is cheap and effective. It's 16 times cheaper and 10 times easier to sell to someone who has bought from you before, so capitalise on the customers you already have. Hence why I suggested using email.

If nothing else, it would help you gauge the web-savviness of your existing customers and also build a database of people to email about the new site should you decide to launch it online at a later date.

Putting up a free or template site sends all kind of bad messages about how seriously you take your business and it would also eat a significant period of time - a luxury you haven't got because you need to be working in the most effective way to use your time to maximise sales. Not faffing around with something you haven't really done before and which you have minimal knowledge of how to make it work.

I'd be happy to have a chat and give you some pointers on creating effective email campaigns. And I guarantee it will cost you less than £50 to set up and manage yourself. Drop me a line caroline@virtuallysorted.com

Caroline
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VLAHAKISA VLAHAKISA is offline
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I agree that she shouldn't touch the site, it's too much of an investment at the moment and will take too long to bring a return. That's a medium/longer term strategy.

Email marketing could prove effective if she can access a large enough mailing list from her local area - the email sent will need to be sufficiently compelling to achieve any sort of success rate. So she's need to think about 'call to action', presentation/image before sending it.

Obviously if the mailing list isn't from her local area and isn't hitting her target market of 'customer type', it's pretty pointless. That would be another £50 down the drain.

Untargeted mailing lists offer a poor sales penetration level, which is why they often advise that you build your own targeted mailing lists over time. She doesn't have time, so if there is an targeted mailing list out there, it could be a good move.


Amanda
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MarcDerby MarcDerby is offline
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I would try testing out an ebay shop, quick, easy and it will help you test the online market a bit and get to grips with it. Granted it may not be your target market on there, but you never know and it will cost you very little to try it yourself
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MarcDerby MarcDerby is offline
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Oh forgot to mention, for help on search engines, directories, article submission etc you can get a free version of the well rated WebCEO software here http://www.webceo.com/download/

You can also download the how to guides off their website and do most things in their free version.
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Alyssa Rose Alyssa Rose is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VLAHAKISA View Post
I suspect with Alyssa Rose you don't rely on the website to gain all of your custom, and you employ other means of marketing to gain customers. I doubt the website is the main source of your customer base? That your customers don't all find you online?

If so it's hard for you to say that your website is 'performing' just because your customers like it. A website is actually performing when it's a direct source of customers ... if it's not driving sales its not really doing much at all for that business.
Amanda
It works out for me half and half. Alot comes from links I have scattered about and obviously people searching for me. But i obviously don't use my website for people to buy directly, i agree though i think the best think is to focus on advertising and definately ebay!! dont knock it until you try it xx


p.s also you should see if your area has a local magazine... my advert here costs me £25 for a month and I can honestly say it pays for itself and then some. its the best thing ive done. and if you get good friends they can give you a nice 2 page spread (most do this) i have two different magazines in my local area do this They also usually do free community pages so why not advertise a special open day!?!?! they work wonders xxx
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RonaldTurner RonaldTurner is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 10
it needs a bit long process of search engine optimization, i suggest you to hire a professional and let him do that, don't go for paid campaign
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Admin Tones's Avatar Admin Tones Admin Tones is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Manchester
Posts: 105
Right...no one has mentioned it so I'm going to:

TWITTER and FACEBOOK!

Join up to both - IT'S FREEE!! - like someone else has mentioned get your photo's onto Facebook - like this: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/...6311031&ref=ts

On Twitter - use it as a tool to make friends - do. Get Tristan to add you to the Shell Live Wire list. if you get yourself onto Twitter - I will follow you and retweet relevant info to all of my followers. Fair enough it may not make you any money to begin with but it takes time (Rome wasn't built in a day.)

Start a blog - this will drive traffic to your website. Write about anything - not necessarily your biz.

Another thing - this is fantastic forum to drum up a think tank and share ideas - well done for taking the first step. :-)
Have you tried other forms of networking? The one I have joined is 3 visits (£10 per time for breakfast) then there is a fee if you join their memebership (or you can join the forum for FREE and get your name out there more first) plus breakfast fee per visit. It's honestly the best step I have taken to get my business out there - now people are becoming more interested and are making inquiries as to the services provided by Admin Tones. (I've been doing it for two months)

Another thing is to maybe contact Business Link for a mentor (it's Free)They will be able to help you drive your business forward.

Best thing to do is plan what you CAN spend and where you can reduce costs (for now)
Don't go wild. Start with the small things.

If you want anymore info feel free to contact me. :-)
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Admin Tones's Avatar Admin Tones Admin Tones is offline
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Sorry me again.

I apologise i didn't look at your website before I posted. Something I have noticed is that you seem to have many services on offer - fantastic but could be a bit stretching in the earlier stages - so why not work out your best selling products and focus on them and build on them before you spread your wings?

Just a thought...why not try clothing parties...get all your friends round and promote your products..I've not known this to happen before for a clothing store - maybe it's worth a shot?
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seopenkey seopenkey is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
SEO Copywriter

Hi Katherine,

Well, Its very easy to increase your customer base. You are not getting customers because your business website is not getting proper promotion to attract potential customers. It also may be the reason that your business website does not have appropriate contents that can represent your business. No need to be worry at the point. Solution for your problem is SEO copywriter. SEO (Search engine optimization) is a process of improving the position of web-pages in SERP (Search engine result pages) for the targeted keywords or key-phrases in specified search engines. While, copywring is an art that explain your offered products or services in proper way in front of your customers and SEO copywriter is the single key who blends both of the things altogether. I can recommend you the finest SEO copywriter who has proven track record in SEO copywriting. For more details http://www.billfryercopywriter.co.uk

~Thaks~
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