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  1. #1
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    T-shirt store having difficulty with conversions - Any feedback is appreciated

    About a week ago I launched my new t-shirt line at www.StripedElephantApparel.com. Since I've been getting plenty of visitors, about 850 unique ones now, but no one has bought anything (other than friends). I know there aren't many designs right now (more are coming soon), but this conversion rate still strikes me as too low.

    I'm wondering if there's some usability or design issue I'm missing. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Interesting site. My initial feelings were these:

    - it's good that you give a brief explanation of what you sell on the home page, but it's in small print to the left. I would recommend making that test ten times bigger and putting it front and center. I tend to leave sites where I have to put in effort to work out what they sell, and having an intro in small print like—while better than nothing—is still a bit of an effort to read.
    - the other items on the home page are a bit confusing, though interesting. From a sales point of view, I don't think they work. None of them—including the prominent slideshow—really tell me about the products or why I should explore further.

    I guess if people already know the products you are selling then it's easy to find and buy what you want, which is good. I just might look at reaching out to first timers a bit more to sell the broduct a bit more forcefully.

  3. #3
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    Thank you! I think that is fantastic advice. I will get on that.

  4. #4
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    Interesting site and not clutterd, the pages seemed slow to load which is strange as it was only loading the central div - could a slow satellite to jolly old England.

    Have you analized your unique visits?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubble View Post
    the pages seemed slow to load which is strange as it was only loading the central div
    Oh, looks like you looked at it while I was working on it. I had some options flipped to make sure I could see my changes, but they also make it very slow. Done now! Should be faster. Thank you for the kind words. Analyzed my unique visits? How do you mean exactly? I look at how many there have been and the pages they go to and where they exit and such.

    Ralph.m, I made some changes. Improved?

  6. #6
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    You are never going to belive it; I just went to my website to check something out and your ad was there - Spooky

    Yes it is loading quicker now.

    I just ment check the links to your site and pages visited etc. which you are doing. Analog stats seem to give more detail but I do not know what a lot of them mean !

    I signed up to Quantcast which gave some demographic information - I do not know if it would be useful or not but may help with deciding where to advertise.

  7. #7
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    Haha that's weird! I looked at Quantcast.. it could be helpful. I'm going to keep it in mind.

  8. #8
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    I'll start with the good thing, the site is unique and attractive and I can see people who find it stay around for a while.

    I didn't really like the moving images at the center. I was looking at various things at your homepage and when I started reading you text at the main window it moved to the next image. Personally I find it distracting, however I know it's very common for sites to do that, so maybe it's just me.

    The facebook stuff is also a bit excessive in my humble opinion. Before knowing what this site is about I'm already being hit with likes and walls and such. Especially the long scrollable area at the bottom, which I would consider making bigger if you think it's really important, or removing it from the site and just keep it on facebook.

    Your return policy also seems a bit harsh. I'm a tough customer, I know, but I think it that a merchant should stand by his products 100% and offer refunds for no other reason than the customer is unhappy with the purchase. It seems like it can cause losses to the merchant, but making a customer happy is worth more than 1 or 2 extra sales.

    Also having 2/6 items on the homepage labeled "coming soon" gives me a bit of a "site still under construction" feel.

    That being said, I do think the site is great over all, these are just few things I thought can be done a bit better.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
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    Corwin, that all sounds like solid advice.
    Quote Originally Posted by corwinm View Post
    I didn't really like the moving images at the center. I was looking at various things at your homepage and when I started reading you text at the main window it moved to the next image. Personally I find it distracting, however I know it's very common for sites to do that, so maybe it's just me.
    I've noticed that it's a growing trend among web developer types to dislike such moving images. I don't really disagree. However, I wonder what the lay person thinks of them? Either way, I've made it so they don't move automatically.

    The facebook stuff is also a bit excessive in my humble opinion. Before knowing what this site is about I'm already being hit with likes and walls and such. Especially the long scrollable area at the bottom, which I would consider making bigger if you think it's really important, or removing it from the site and just keep it on facebook.
    I will think on that. Maybe a smaller version in the sidebar would be better. I do think it's important as I'm planning on Facebook being a very important marketing tool.

    Your return policy also seems a bit harsh. I'm a tough customer, I know, but I think it that a merchant should stand by his products 100% and offer refunds for no other reason than the customer is unhappy with the purchase. It seems like it can cause losses to the merchant, but making a customer happy is worth more than 1 or 2 extra sales.
    You're right. I softened it up a bit.

    Also having 2/6 items on the homepage labeled "coming soon" gives me a bit of a "site still under construction" feel.
    Hmm, I hadn't thought of that. Well I will be getting new designs soon.

    Thank you for the advice and kind words.

  10. #10
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    Ok I am going to be extremely honest with you...
    I think what you are doing is an awesome venture, there is a lot of money and future in what you want to pursue.

    but...

    Your website really hurts my eyes. the contrast of white/black and minimalistic colour doesn't do your site any justice. you are getting traffic, but people are not purchasing because your presentation of your site will ultimately reflect the presentation of your finished product. I would revamp the site, may it user friendly. Your business can be very profitable, you just need to step it up a little bit. Most importantly you have to make yourself different from the rest.


    Cheers.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by egomagonline View Post
    Your website really hurts my eyes. the contrast of white/black and minimalistic color doesn't do your site any justice.
    Do others agree with that? I kind of liked my contrasty and minimalistic design. But if that's a common opinion, I can revamp.

  12. #12
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    The white on black is a little hard on the eyes. I often like to tone down the white with a slight sade of gray, or lighten the text color just a bit, as black text is pretty harsh, I find.

    I like the new intro on the home page, too.

  13. #13
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    Given the 'quirky' nature of the site, I think your visitors *might* not really trust your company/site.... It has an untraditional feel which might put some shoppers on guard. Maybe try adding a third party trust seal, like a BBB or Verasafe trust seal to the page footer and see what that does for conversions... it's certainly worth a shot, as you have some decent traffic.

  14. #14
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    I share the same sentiments as a lot of the other folks here who have provided feedback. Here's my honest feedback:

    * My first impression of the site was "Wow, that's really in your face". A lot of contrast in your design, so much that I felt like it was hard to read your site.
    * When I land on your website, I don't see shirts. I didn't feel like the sidebar product listings did your product justice at all. I would put pictures of your product front and center on your landing page. This lets your customers know they're in the right place, and it's a chance for you to wow them with your product straight away without having to dig for it.
    * Your use of the Impact font on your stylesheets makes the site feel really dated to me. I would encourage you to look at alternative heavy weight typefaces.
    * Loading time seemed on the slow side. This appears to be due to your image carousel. Around 900kb coming down, most of which may not ever be seen by your prospective customers due to your recent carousel changes. I would try to reduce this footprint (lower number of images, remove the carousel completely, etc)
    * You're including http image resources on your https checkout side. Depending on the browser security settings, the user may be notified that the page is including "unsecure" content. Chrome displays a warning label over your certificate icon in my address bar. Most users probably won't notice this unless they are technically minded or the browser notifies them in a more dramatic fashion.

    That said, there are a lot of things you're doing right in my opinion:

    * You have secure checkout via SSL.
    * Your shopping cart experience isn't bad at all. Makes sense, easy to understand what's happening. Pricing and inventory is clear.
    * You have a nice product and your detail level page presents it well (lightbox).

    I hope that my feedback is helpful to you. Great job so far and keep up the hard work!

  15. #15
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    Alright I've decided I'm going to redesign it some.
    Quote Originally Posted by codeatar View Post
    Your use of the Impact font on your stylesheets makes the site feel really dated to me. I would encourage you to look at alternative heavy weight typefaces.
    I was going for an old fashioned newspaper headline type look. Are there good fonts for that that wouldn't bother you? Or is it the old fashioned newspaper headline look itself that bothers you?
    You're including http image resources on your https checkout side. Depending on the browser security settings, the user may be notified that the page is including "unsecure" content.
    Thank you so much for pointing this out. It's fixed.

    All of you have been very helpful. I appreciate it!

  16. #16
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    Hi

    I thought the initial impression was memorable but wonder as per one comment -
    can the screen can be made a little less strident on the eyes with a softer white either side of the central page. Or soft hazy images?

    I think your products are GREAT and was sorry not to see at least some on the landing page

    When I went to products I assumed that to put into the cart I tap the image but why not have a buy button by each description?
    Look at this http://www.maplin.co.uk/
    OK not a buy button but a clear prompt click here
    That was my impression so I may be wrong

    I like sites where you see what is in the cart but does that ALSO need to be in the banner nav bar
    It made me think woah am I spending too much

    The way the shirt moves to the cart is cool well done

  17. #17
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    Nice business idea but you really need to work on your design. The white and black combination and those fonts are attention seeker but at the same time they are not looking pleasant at all. Loading time is fine for me but can be improved for sure. I can see see many interesting items on the home page but again they might distract and confuse your potential customers.

    Few things which I liked: Secure SSL Certificate, great collection of products. Consider all the suggestions above and come back with a bang. All the best to you!
    Get iPhone to Computer Transfer Tool - Transfer iPhone Files (Voice Memos,
    Music, Videos, Photos) to computer and vice versa with ease.

  18. #18
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    Okay, I love the attitude you've got going on your FAQ page (and I share your facebook spelling dilemma). It's quirky, it's interesting, and it walks a perfect clever/humorous line without being unprofessional and turning people off.

    I would replace the Facebook box on the home page with a selection of three different shirts (maybe two for men on either side of one for women, with as much variety as possible in the design choices). The most important thing is to get visitors to see the shirts, browse the shirts, and understand instantly that you are about shirts. That message is much harder to send quickly without any pictures of shirts.

    I'm not sure the designs on your right and left sidebars are doing you any favors--they compete with your text in the center. Honestly, when I see them, I think, "there have to be more designs than six, right?" (So no pressure or anything, but start drawing some more stuff!) I think three pictures of the designs on shirts would serve you better than six designs on either side of the page. However, I would put the elephant design right where that privacy policy box is, or move it up next to your site title.

    I like the top navbar--it's striking, and the shadow effect looks great. I think the words in your site title are spaced too closely, and the letters might be, too. I would sacrifice height if I had to, to ensure the name of the company was easy to read.

    It's a cool effect to see the text (I assume it's on the back of the shirt) when you mouse over the designs--can you still make it do that if the pictures are actually on the shirts? It frustrates me that I can't read the gray text on the left that's backward in the speech bubble. I like mystery, but not on the home page, and not where it could distract me from looking where you want me to go to buy shirts.

    I think the cart placement is great.

    For what it's worth, those verified seals of approval don't carry any weight with me and they clutter the page unless you arrange them very thoughtfully. I think your FAQ gives buyers a great sense of a real person. If you want to create a separate page for testimonials with direct links from your faq and product pages, that might help reassure would-be buyers. I might also collect testimonials that didn't come from FB, to attract a wider audience.

    Remember that many visitors need to see your site and products several times before they feel comfortable making a purchase, so one challenge might be to think about ways to draw them back to the site. One fun idea would be to add a poll for visitors to vote on which new sad animal character they would like to see on the next shirt design.

    With regard to the color, I normally dislike it when paragraph text changes size and color if it's not a link, but you're pulling it off on your site description on the home page. It just works with the style of your company and the products you're selling. I like the pink with the black and white. However, I think if you had white space on either side instead of the black outlined boxes competing with the center text, it would be easier on the eyes.

    I must confess I'm hoping the brachiosaurus isn't decapitated.

    Good luck!

  19. #19
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    So first off, the whole idea of the shirts was cute I thought, it's stuff I'm sure my daughter would buy.

    There are some problems I found though. First, the slideshow (I didn't even realize that was a slideshow until looking at it further) doesn't have good implementation. I scrolled through the slides and I found some of the humorous, but I think you need to rethink the design of the homepage to give the users a better idea of what they're getting themselves into. That particular slideshow script is very distracting with the faded out slides to the left and right, it takes my eyes away from the content that matters. Also, the impact font style you use throughout the site is a little too in your face in my opinion. Coupled with the high contrast black and white, it makes the site kind overwhelming.

    Minor detail: I noticed on your shipping page that you misspelled "Pease note:". I may be a minority, but whenever I notice misspellings, it shows me that a company isn't professional and I usually don't buy.

    I also agree with another poster above that having those designs that say coming soon on the front page doesn't look right. I would include those in one of your slideshow slides.

    Last but not least, someone above thought you should get rid of your Facebook widget. I disagree. However, it currently takes up half the first page, and that's a problem. I think you need more content that gives users an idea of why they're on your site.

    Even though I have a lot of negatives, your product is good and I think it will sell well to the right people. It's better to have good products and bad site design because its much easier to fix the latter.

  20. #20
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    Thank you guys so much for all the great advice. I've redesigned it. I couldn't bring myself to get rid of the slider, but it's pretty different now. It's not completely done yet, but what do you guys think so far?

  21. #21
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    Looks great well done

    When I clicked on SHIRTS it did take a little time to load, no real issue but was wondering why

    I think the changes have made it better still

  22. #22
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    Thank you! I'm not sure why it took time to load that page. It seems quick for me.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by StripedElephant View Post
    I'm not sure why it took time to load that page. It seems quick for me.
    Once you've viewed the site, most of the heavy items like images and scripts are stored in your browser and don't get downloaded again. You'd get a better sense of page load if you cleared your browser cache, or test the page on a browser you haven't used to visit the site before.

  24. #24
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    Yep, I know. I did that to test. It still loads quickly for me.

  25. #25
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    I think your tshirt design is nice, but the site doesnt really look like a fresh ecommerce platform, and this is where potential clients are getting confused and put of. Check out wordpress ecommerce templates etc and even shopify.

    Alex

    <snip>
    Last edited by TechnoBear; Aug 28, 2012 at 10:46. Reason: Please wait 90 days for a real signature


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