Robert, I wanted to give a HUGE shout out and say THANK YOU!!! I've almost never gotten a helpful response with a personalized 11 min video. This is super helpful and has helped me restructure my thinking around what works and how to best attack it.
I want to unpack all of our issues - once we do, I'll absolutely engage your agency's marketing services.
Denis - No problem man. I know how it goes. I've been helping struggling and successful ventures my entire career. I packed a bunch of value in that video, but it doesn't tell you the whys, whats and hows of the process. I'm more than happy to help when you feel the need or have further questions. However, I'm not trying to get marketing business, I'm just trying to help fellow store owners honestly.
I started as a graphic designer in 2001, which turned into a marketer, which turned into a consultant, and now a business owner some 15 years later. Now that I've started a store myself (yet another venture), I'm beginning to practice what I preach. I took an entire month to do market research to find the right products and market opportunities. I've spent the last month building the business' backend, from proper COAs in quickbooks for Shopify, to writing website copy and building customer-first policies, etc. We plan on having the site launched no later than the end of Sept so all is ready for holiday sales.
I'm always willing to help some, so anyone can reach out to say hey and connect... https://www.linkedin.com/in/roberttoler/
I'm glad I could bump you in the right direction, make it great Denis. I'm always around.
Sorry to hijack your post Denis.
I've just had a look at both the videos you made and they're really useful. If you get any time or feel the urge I'd be very grateful if you could have a look at my shop. I sell toys, I'm trying to focus on mainly organic and fair trade toys, and as we're now coming up to Christmas I'm trying to up the traffic but it's not really happening. I know it's still pretty early for Christmas but anythink you think I'm doing wrong or could be doing would be very gratefully received. I've found both the videos for Denis and Maria very helpful anyway so I'll try and do what you suggest they do.
Amy from www.amysattic.co.uk
Amy - I understand and don’t mind. I’ve provided some content below to ponder that might help lead you in some good directions with some additional wisdom. I would use some of the info I wrote about in Maria’s post to help get some traction in places with small investment.
Site Advice: Your website is your most important asset as an ecommerce venture. With that said, it’s vital to think about call-to-actions, keywords, quality content, and link building. Without a strong website as your foundation you’ll lose lots of potential sales and traffic in general. Here is what I would suggest for your site as a first stage of enhancement and upgrade: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz_w60aVEs81VnNfUDVTT3FxYWM/view
Other Helpful Site Links:
Pro Themes for Shopify: https://goo.gl/hvum9z
(I spent $70 one for qualitybreeds and got many free features, like dozens of layouts, advanced store sorter, currency changer, mailchimp integration and more.) Make sure any theme you get is responsive, mobile compliant. W3C, HTML5, CSS3 strictly valid and compatible help too.
SEO Advice: You’re only ranking for one or two keywords at the moment, so there isn’t much to talk about with keywords. You’ll want to find valuable keywords that others are using to find products like yours and start building links and content for these niche areas. Here is what I found quickly that might help (take with a grain of sand): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz_w60aVEs81M1N0eFNFQlI4WkE/view
Other Helpful SEO Links:
Solid SEO Article for Newbies: https://www.shopify.com/blog/ecommerce-seo-beginners-guide
Shopify Shorts to understand SEO: https://www.shopify.com/videos/ecommerce-seo-101
Other Tips/Ideas: (off my head quickly)
Authentic Self - Make sure your mission/cause is spoken clearly and loudly, even over your product promotions and messaging. Create bridges to help connect people to you and your passion, and it’ll turn into sales. Cold and stale sites that just “sell at” people don’t do as well, don’t build public trust and don’t have many repeat customers, to say the least. So create original content that has substance and google and customers will come over time.
Niche Perspective - While most people struggle to find a niche and sell everything to everyone, you have a clear niche - it just needs defined some more. So, continue down that path by finding folks in the industry that are related to you and find creative ways to do business with them, on and offline. If you decide you want to advertise, in any medium, make sure you’re talking to a niche group, not a broad base of people that like toys.
The Wholesale Play - If you don’t already, find and use toy shops that have like products available, as well as other shops that might be interested in your mission. If you have some margin to play with, this can offer a HUGE bump in monthly income. While some retailers don’t like competing with you on the same product, there are plenty of ways around this, plus the world has changed so it doesn’t seem to hurt to do much anymore. Just something to be aware of if you become interested. For qualitybreeds, we’ve built a retailer program that provides them with value passed just a cheaper price, plus a way that their not compete with us directly. Hard to explain here, but if they want pro. I’ve already drawn inginterest and commitment from a few vets and groomers I know and reached out to; all without even launching the site yet.
That’s all I got at the moment for ya. I’m not sure I helped on short-term sales for the holidays, but gave you some better understanding of things. I would have to do much more research and investigating to answer those larger more important questions. Once I publish my site I don’t mind sharing my testing, techniques and process as I find the proper marketing and strategy.
Hope all is well!
Wow Robert, thank you so much. This is the best advice I've ever had about my website, you're very good at explaining why things should be added or changed. I'm totally blown away by your kindness and generousity. I'm going to get started on making the changes you suggested straight away. I've got some adverts coming up in two magazines in the next couple of months and have had someone do a write up in her blog about some toys I sent her so I'll try and get more of this type of thing going.
You're right about the white spaces on the home page, calls to action and navigatoin. I always felt there where things not quite right but as I put it all together myself it became hard to take a step back and see what was missing. At the moment I'm using the free Minimal theme but I'll look at the ones you sent the links to. It might be worthwhile spending a bit of money on that to make the homepage better.
Please do send me any tips or suggestions once your website is live, I'm always open to improving and learning, and if there is anything I can do in return please let me know, your advice has been invaluable. I'm really excited about making the changes, they all seem to make perfect sense and once you pointed them out it's crazy that I didn't see them!
Some great suggestions here. I had a look at your website and here are my 2-cents:
Your website opens on a fabulous page. But as you scroll down, it gets really busy and has a lot of going on. I know you’d like to fit in as much content as possible. But it's more important to give your users a seamless experience rather than all the information as soon as they land.
One thing that bothered me the most was the font size of price. If you could clean this page up and have just your bestsellers here with a bigger font size, I think, that would be a great starting point.
Make a separate section for 'Wardrobe Essentials', 'On Instagram', 'Partners' and put them on a separate page. The most important thing for your customers is your product and if that fails to make an impression, then the other stuff won’t move the needle.
Maybe, you could take some ideas from websites on this list: Top Shopify Stores. These are all top Shopify websites. Just take a look at the layout, structure and how they've presented the content.
Your shop logo in the top-right corner is hazy and too small. It’s very difficult to make out what the tag line is. This represents your store. Use a razor-sharp image and in a big size.
I agree with Kunal, you could make some changes to your current ‘About Us’. It doesn’t seem to connect. Online buyers, especially on a stand-alone website, look at the About Us page to know more about the owner. It helps establish trust. It tells them who they are giving their money too. So it needs to be a little more personal. Here’s an article that covers this in detail: Write a Brilliant About Page.
Fashion, as a niche, is extremely visual. Product photos act as hooks. You need to work on your product photos. There is inconsistency with background, lighting and even the distance. In fact, your Bill Bass Brown Leather jacket opens to a zoomed in image. And there is lack of font consistency in your product descriptions as well. You’ve used a small font in some of the product descriptions and for some, you’ve used a larger font.
This article on product descriptions might have some tips: Product Descriptions that Sell
Overall, you need to make your website look more professional.
Now about traffic. One of the top two ways are - a) organic, b) paid.
In paid Ads, Facebook can give you a great audience to target. However, you’ll have to define your target fairly well. Before you set out to create an audience, do look at Facebook’s ‘Audience Insight’. You can create a very detailed and targeted buyer persona from here. You’re reselling high-end fashion products, so in interests (on audience insights) enter, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Prada, etc. And then layer it with further with income group / age / location. You’ll get a better idea once you’re on Audience Insights.
The other type of audience that you should consider is retargeting. I noticed you’ve placed a Facebook pixel on your website. Have you created a custom audience, yet? If you haven’t, that’s the audience you should definitely explore. You can target these custom audiences:
If you’re planning to explore this, you’ll have to focus on increasing your organic traffic.
Here’s what you can do for organic traffic:
That’s my 2-cents for you. I hope this helps.
If you have specific questions, you can ask them in Seller Success Facebook group
I'd consider whether to keep the section at the bottom of your website. When I clicked on the image below I got 404 on your partner website. 404 is not really good for SEO and create bad user experience.
Denis, your site looks good. It has some interesting features. I don't see any trust badges any where. In the Past treasures section as well as the In the Press section, the pictures don't load. Could be my computer here. I really like the pictures in your about us page. I find your prices too high end for me but I'm sure those that can afford them will find you. All the best.