Looking to borrow the keen eye of a successful e-commerce agent

by jimmyjackson 20 replies
I built an e commerce site for a client around 6 months ago and I've managed through SEO to get the traffic up to around 600 hits per month. The site however is only converting at around 0.1 percent. What are considered good conversion rates for online stores and how can I improve the conversion rate to make this site successful?

See Site - The Silver Shop

Does the website not generate enough trust/social proof?

I have recently integrated a light box to and set it up with an autoresponder to try and capture some of the traffic. Also thinking about engaging google remarketing tactics.

Efforts with facebook marketing have been unsuccessful due to the low conversion rate.

I'd really appreciate some honest advice on where I'm going wrong here.

Thanks :confused:
#ecommerce sites, wholesaling & drop shipping #agent #borrow #ecommerce #eye #keen #successful
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  • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
    Conversion rates depend on the category of items you sell.

    For example: I have a large site that sells used video games, and for 100 views, I convert at 3.2%. My average is 12,000 views a month. At 3.2% I am actually above average for this niche. My marketing budget is pretty low for this site.

    Clothing is another story. I have a Vintage Inspired clothing store that brings in 18,000 views a month with a high marketing budget, and I convert at 1.2% - this is because women typically window shop more. For this market, I actually convert really well because IN MY EXPERIENCE - Female Apparel websites convert at 0.8% if they are large, new, or have insufficient marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author kjamesnv
    .1 percent conversion is pretty low. I think you identified one of the key problems- the site does not instill enough credibility or confidence. This is particularly important with a product like jewelry.

    I would focus heavily on getting/posting customer reviews and testimonials. There are other signals that can help including badges from 3rd parties like McAfee Security, eTrust , Pay Pal Verified etc.

    You do have a 30 Day guarantee (which is good) but when I click on the link it does not work. That doesn't exactly instill confidence and it seems to indicate that this isn't really an important element for the business.
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  • Profile picture of the author jimmyjackson
    Originally Posted by mikedcarroll View Post

    It seems good enough. However, I would probably change out the product on the home page due to it being sold out.
    I actually deliberately put the sold out piece on the front page a week ago to test whether or not it would help create scarcity and show that things are selling. Actually just got a conversion from the site this morning so hopefully the site makeover is working!
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  • Profile picture of the author ReferralCandy
    I look at hundreds of stores online, so this is my jam.

    LOGO AND TYPEFACE

    Your logo looks cheap. Is that verdana or trebuchet MS or something? Not good! Bad first impression to make. Silver is a luxury good of sorts, so use a font that's stylish and relevant. There's a whole psychology behind what works and what doesn't. I highly recommend that you look up pictures of Silver and use fonts similar to what's used there. Here:



    See that? Serif fonts. Serif adds stability and reliability, and you definitey want that if you're selling silver. Compare your site to something established like say, Tiffany's. See: http://tiffany.com. Notice how subtle and stylish their site is. Do NOT use bold sans-serif typefaces. That looks gaudy and cheap.

    PRICING:

    Your stuff is pretty expensive. (Here's a suggestion: If you're planting stuff that's going to be a fake sold-out to create the illusion of popularity, increase the price of that good significantly. Create an anchoring effect, so the other stuff looks cheaper in comparison.)

    That said, since your stuff is that expensive, your site is going to have to look a lot classier. Google all the top jewelry sites you can think of, study their design carefully. If you're not familiar with design principles, I recommend studying Oliver Emberton's "How To Be A Graphic Designer in 5 minutes".

    I repeat myself- if you're selling Silver, you're going to want to be as classy and elegant as you possibly can. So study and figure out how to communicate that effectively.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author wellcool
    Some suggestions from me (I've been working in eCommerce for many years):

    - Relocate the AddThis on product info pages > if I'm moving my cursor towards 'Add to Cart' I can trigger the AddThis popup, which is A. annoying and B. actually hides the 'Add to Cart' button.
    - Change the 'Add to Cart' button > lack of contrast makes it borderline illegible, and as it's so similar to the main category navigation my eye is not drawn to it
    - Cart display in the header is a mess
    - Header could be re-organised and greatly improved, and as such could be almost halved in height, moving all content up
    - 'Proceed to Checkout' button - same as 'Add to Cart', illegible and lost
    - Strangely positioned related products on cart page
    - No shipping costs on cart page - turns out my cart qualifies for free shipping, you should really be telling me that at this stage

    They're just a couple of thins from a quick glance at the site. Plenty of room for improvement!
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    • Profile picture of the author ReferralCandy
      ^what he said!
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    • Profile picture of the author jimmyjackson
      Originally Posted by wellcool View Post

      Some suggestions from me (I've been working in eCommerce for many years):

      - Relocate the AddThis on product info pages > if I'm moving my cursor towards 'Add to Cart' I can trigger the AddThis popup, which is A. annoying and B. actually hides the 'Add to Cart' button.
      - Change the 'Add to Cart' button > lack of contrast makes it borderline illegible, and as it's so similar to the main category navigation my eye is not drawn to it
      - Cart display in the header is a mess
      - Header could be re-organised and greatly improved, and as such could be almost halved in height, moving all content up
      - 'Proceed to Checkout' button - same as 'Add to Cart', illegible and lost
      - Strangely positioned related products on cart page
      - No shipping costs on cart page - turns out my cart qualifies for free shipping, you should really be telling me that at this stage

      They're just a couple of thins from a quick glance at the site. Plenty of room for improvement!
      Wow, I can't thank you enough for these suggestions. This is the type of advice I've been looking for! It's hard to find people on warrior forum who have been successful with ecommerce (most people deal in clickbank and info products).

      I'm not sure I've got the necessary skills to make all of these changes in shopify, do you offer hired help?
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      • Profile picture of the author ReferralCandy
        If wellcool can't help you, you should try hitting the Shopify forums- I think there are people you can hire there.

        That said, it's definitely worth taking the time and trouble to develop the skills. It won't give you instant results, but in the long term the skills will serve you A LOT, in all sorts of ways you can't even anticipate yet.

        Good luck!
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      • Profile picture of the author wellcool
        Originally Posted by jimmyjackson View Post

        Wow, I can't thank you enough for these suggestions. This is the type of advice I've been looking for! It's hard to find people on warrior forum who have been successful with ecommerce (most people deal in clickbank and info products).

        I'm not sure I've got the necessary skills to make all of these changes in shopify, do you offer hired help?
        Glad to be of service. I work with a range of platforms, but not Shopify I'm afraid!
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  • Profile picture of the author marquinho
    Have you tried posting some listings on craigslist, with a link to your store? As craigslist does good with google searches, it could help people come across your products.

    On that note, a bit of blatant self-promotion, but vendalism has the option to cross-post your listing to craigslist, that way it's easy to relist when your listing expires.
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    • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
      Jewelry is a hard market especially since people have a hard time trying to figure out how a piece of jewelry will look on them without being able to try it on.

      First, are you drop shipping these or taking inventory? Try and get some pictures on a manequin or real person so people can see what the piece looks like. Jewelry needs lots of pictures from multiple angles. You don't describe things at all and you don't even bother to give measurements. No one can tell if your sterling silver chain is a choker or will sit between her cleavage.

      Second, the site itself, does not inspire any bit of confidence (IMO) to make me buy. The jewelry looks like stock photography from the drop shipper. There is very little about you except one About Us pages with a bunch of Animoto videos on it. You have a 30 day money back guarantee with no link to your guarantee, shipping, returns, etc. The pop up doesn't seem to be rendering and you ask people to sign up to a VIP program that they know nothing about. You mention myshopping but I have no clue what that is, a shopping comparison site that anyone can sign up for? Take a look at this site for example Infinity Pendant Necklace with Diamonds in Sterling Silver - My Jewelry Box and see the amount of information they provide. You say you know silver, how? Are you a registred gemologist? Have you been making silver jewelry for years?

      Third, you have to work on your design, the purple seems to wash out all the letters, and the large black and gray blocks just seem out of place.

      Fourth, is Valerie Clemens your wife, your friend or you?

      Finally, you can't make conversions if you don't have it in stock. Half the items I chose to look up were out of stock. How many times will people keep looking at a product just to find out its out of stock?

      Kinda harsh I know but there seems to be no advantage to buying from you versus a seller on Etsy, eBay, Amazon, local jewelry store, etc. Are you doing trunk shows and jewelry parties?
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      • Profile picture of the author jimmyjackson
        Originally Posted by OnlineStoreHelp View Post

        Jewelry is a hard market especially since people have a hard time trying to figure out how a piece of jewelry will look on them without being able to try it on.

        First, are you drop shipping these or taking inventory? Try and get some pictures on a manequin or real person so people can see what the piece looks like. Jewelry needs lots of pictures from multiple angles. You don't describe things at all and you don't even bother to give measurements. No one can tell if your sterling silver chain is a choker or will sit between her cleavage.

        Second, the site itself, does not inspire any bit of confidence (IMO) to make me buy. The jewelry looks like stock photography from the drop shipper. There is very little about you except one About Us pages with a bunch of Animoto videos on it. You have a 30 day money back guarantee with no link to your guarantee, shipping, returns, etc. The pop up doesn't seem to be rendering and you ask people to sign up to a VIP program that they know nothing about. You mention myshopping but I have no clue what that is, a shopping comparison site that anyone can sign up for? Take a look at this site for example Infinity Pendant Necklace with Diamonds in Sterling Silver - My Jewelry Box and see the amount of information they provide. You say you know silver, how? Are you a registred gemologist? Have you been making silver jewelry for years?

        Third, you have to work on your design, the purple seems to wash out all the letters, and the large black and gray blocks just seem out of place.

        Fourth, is Valerie Clemens your wife, your friend or you?

        Finally, you can't make conversions if you don't have it in stock. Half the items I chose to look up were out of stock. How many times will people keep looking at a product just to find out its out of stock?

        Kinda harsh I know but there seems to be no advantage to buying from you versus a seller on Etsy, eBay, Amazon, local jewelry store, etc. Are you doing trunk shows and jewelry parties?
        Harsh? Yes. But nobody every moved forward with useless praise from yes-men :rolleyes: Hence why I'm asking these questions on here as I keep getting told by friends and family that "it looks great" even though the conversions suck!

        It's my first attempt at an ecommerce site. I built it for my mum who's been designing and selling her silver jewellery at the local markets for the past 10 years and she has many loyal customers there who buy from her on a regular basis.

        I paid $1000 for the photo's that you see here on the site. As most other companies seem to do the plain white background thing, I thought I'd follow suit. I've been pushing her to get photography that includes model shots, it's just a matter of cost.

        Valerie Clemens is a happy customer who posted that message on her facebook page after her earrings arrived.

        The reason many of the items are sold out is because it was taking too long to sell the items from her online store so she started taking the online inventory down to the markets with the rest of her stock where it sells like hotcakes.

        The about us page will definitely be the next thing I overhaul as I think it will make the biggest difference out of the things I can modify with my limited coding experience.

        I looked into selling on Amazon, but last time I checked it wasn't available to Australian retailers yet. I hadn't tried ebay yet as it seems there is a lot of fake or poor quality stuff on there (it must be as some of it is below raw cost of silver) and I don't want to try and compete on price with these items. Might be time to give it a dig though.

        This project has taught me that far more work goes into building an ecommerce store than you probably think... and even more to do it well! Thanks for the advice, I'm going to be busy!
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  • Profile picture of the author amcg
    Kinda harsh I know but there seems to be no advantage to buying from you versus a seller on Etsy, eBay, Amazon, local jewelry store, etc. Are you doing trunk shows and jewelry parties?
    That's actually a good point. A lot of very successful online retailers either started on, or continue to leverage, the big two third party marketplaces (Amazon, Ebay).

    These sites buy and organically receive huge volumes of traffic. And it's not just traffic, it's paying customers with credit cards on file. Until you build up traffic to your own website and build out functionality, you might want to consider leveraging these platforms.
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  • Profile picture of the author momtraders
    I just glanced at the site, I am a chic and I love, LOVE to shop online. The logo through me off! I would never buy from a site with a logo like that. I'm not trying to be mean, I design too, and logo's are not my strong point, but honestly it needs a major upgrade. The menu highlight is amateurish, again made me think I was on a cheap site. Only other problem I could see was price... UM.... wow, big numbers, but I like to save anywhere I can, specially with 4 kids, 2 of whom need and want the girly stuff. That stuff seriously adds up. Anyhow, give a girl a break and add in a discounted section... Make it big and prominent, where I can see it.. So I can buy my girls some precious silver, not that they understand the commodity of it, most likely they will think mom went cheap and should have gotten them the gold, but what do 2 10 yr old girls know anyhow ?
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    • Profile picture of the author jimmyjackson
      Originally Posted by momtraders View Post

      I just glanced at the site, I am a chic and I love, LOVE to shop online. The logo through me off! I would never buy from a site with a logo like that. I'm not trying to be mean, I design too, and logo's are not my strong point, but honestly it needs a major upgrade. The menu highlight is amateurish, again made me think I was on a cheap site. Only other problem I could see was price... UM.... wow, big numbers, but I like to save anywhere I can, specially with 4 kids, 2 of whom need and want the girly stuff. That stuff seriously adds up. Anyhow, give a girl a break and add in a discounted section... Make it big and prominent, where I can see it.. So I can buy my girls some precious silver, not that they understand the commodity of it, most likely they will think mom went cheap and should have gotten them the gold, but what do 2 10 yr old girls know anyhow ?
      LOL, I know the logo is terrible! It's another problem that stems from the shoe string budget she's doing this with, but I've already convinced her of the importance of that and hopefully in the next couple of weeks we should have a quality logo up there!

      With the prices, I don't think she can go much cheaper with the cost traffic and what not. It's a little cheaper than what she sells for at the markets and it walks off the shelves there at this price! Unfortunately it's much harder to convey the value of it online when they can't pick up and try on the jewellery.
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  • Profile picture of the author islandgal
    For promotion, you could try ads in Gumtree to start.

    The pop up on entry asks me to sign up for signup for something without really giving me benefits. I'd set the delay on that to 10 to 30 seconds to allow visitors to take a look at the stuff first.

    I do like the pics, but I want to see much more detail as some of the pieces look quite intricate. I like the quality of the images you have, and they load nice and fast too.

    I'm afraid the sold out pic on the front page puts me off. I'd probably leave at that point. The price on the sold out piece also tells me that this stuff is really expensive. For the kind of prices listed, I would want some really detailed information especially dimensions.

    I agree with momtraders - I would like to see some bargains too.

    You said she sells at markets, so can she get testimonials from happy customers who have bought from her there?

    The other thing that I noted, was the shipping information "Order before 2pm and your jewellery will be delivered within 2 business days". 1) 2pm where? People aren't going to look up where you are and work out what time that is where they are. 2) delivered within 2 business days to where? I know you will NOT get anything to me within 2 business days. I am not in Australia.

    I note the shop is listed as Queensland. Are you delivering by courier to get 2 business days because Australia Post in Qld typically takes a week to deliver to the next suburb (I'm an ex resident).
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    • Profile picture of the author jimmyjackson
      I can't thank everyone enough for the advice I got in this thread. I've made heaps of changes since the original post including-
      • creating a clear return policy and contact us page
      • improving and personalising the about us page
      • listing more stock with better product photos
      • making more blog posts which has improved organic results
      • changed "buy now" button colour from pink to yellow so it stands out from the rest of the site

      As a result I've improved conversions by more than 1000% (now .29% conversion compared with .01% conversion at time of this original post!)

      Any further feedback is greatly appreciated.

      I'm also interested in meeting JV's for affiliate/dropping/wholesaling. Please contact me if you'd like to know more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ecommerce Advice
    Just a quickie I looked at - The Silver Shop ยท Charm Bracelet - Gemstone variety

    You need a much better description to really sell the product to me.

    "Express yourself with this charming bracelet featuring a variety of stones from turquoise to the lovely citrine!"

    How long is it?
    Width of the chain
    What type of silver (solid, plated...)
    What stones?
    How long are the attachments that dangle off the bracelet.

    The 'view large image' didn't really increase the image size. It just took away the text. I'd like to see a magnify option so you can see the detail closely.

    Is the bracelet mass produced or very limited?
    Made by craftsmen?
    Handmade?

    Sell it to me - why is it such a lovely bracelet?

    I remove all the social media buttons so that people are focused on the description and 'add to cart'

    I missed your guarantee first time - I'd make it stronger and possibly before the description near the 'add to cart button'

    You could try something like "Try it at home for 30 days and if you honestly don't find it stunning, looks amazing, comfortable (blah blah) you can return it free of charge no questions asked"
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