Help with promoting a web site best

  erkmatrix 14:35 29 Jul 2003

Hi I have recently started my own Digital Camera business , selling only popular Digital Cameras, the I've submitted to the pay per click search engine overture, but don't seem to be getting any buyers just people clicking and costing me.
I just wanted to know where else I should try advertising on to get some buyers. The cameras are very reasonably priced and well below high street prices, so kinda of miffed why they arn't selling more. My budget until the business takes off is rather limited thats the problem, I would be grateful for any advice anyone could throw my way.

Please can someone advise.

Cheers Phil

  erkmatrix 15:03 29 Jul 2003

Hi yeah sorry I did post before this question only I never read a reply as I had to go away to look after my ill brother and when I got back onto PCadvisor site I couldn't find the posting.

My web address is click here

I hopefully soon going to get more stock included Video cameras and Security Cameras and various photography software and computer related.

Cheers again,

  Forum Editor 17:52 29 Jul 2003

to our webDesign forum - where I think you will get plenty of input (some of it from me).

  Forum Editor 18:25 29 Jul 2003

- at least in part. The site takes far too long to load, and many potential customers are going to give up. Even on my broadband connection the load time was excessive. In additon, many people will not have the Flash plugin on their computers, and they'll click away.

Flash has its place in web design, and used with discretion it can be very effective, but an all Flash site is simply the wrong tool for e-commerce purposes. Your site isn't particularly easy to navigate - Flash sites should always have a 'back' button on each page - and I found the use of graphics and colours overpowering and very distracting - the cameras should dominate, not the animations.

The text on the privacy, shipping, terms and copyright pages is far too large, and contains many spelling and grammatical errors.

I'm sorry to sound so negative, but you asked for advice, and I would be doing you no favours if I simply said "Great site, can't understand why you aren't inundated with orders". If you were my client I would say this:

1. Ditch the Flash site entirely, and go for a straightforward, clean HTML site that loads quickly, is easy to navigate, and has no animation save perhaps a logo on the home page.

2. Lay the site out with high-quality images of the cameras themselves dominating - to a large extent people buy with their eyes.

3. Keep all your payment options on one page, and dispense with all the garish logos - people know what a credit card sign looks like. Stick to a simple 'buy' button from PayPal.

4. Do not use a Yahoo email address for the 'contact us' link - it absolutely shouts 'Amateur'! You have a domain - so use it. The contact button should load an email addressed to: [email protected]

5. If you truly wanted people to believe that your reviews had been posted by customers you shouldn't have put them all on the site on the same day. My own feeling is that this is an unecessary feature anyway, and provides you with one more thing to check each day, in case someone says something they shouldn't.

I hope you don't find all this too discouraging, but the e-commerce world is a hard place in which to trade, and it's in your best interests for me to be completely honest. If you are to make any headway I think you must act quickly and make some radical changes to the site - in fact I think you should start again from scratch - this time with no Flash at all.

  Forum Editor 18:27 29 Jul 2003

spelling I've made some typos myself. I do know how to spell - my excuse is that I'm busy, and I typed too quickly

  erkmatrix 10:21 30 Jul 2003

Well looks like I have alot of work to do. I had a friend design it for me and he said flash sites are the future. I agree the dowmload time for the first time you hit the site is along time and no doubt people can't be bothered, but thats something that I really can't change, so just have to hope people are more patient. About the prices, I certainly don't think they are too expensive, there are plenty of high stret shops charging alot more and it would be impossible to charge any less from where I get them from my wholesalers. A Nikon D100 for £1299.99 is reasonable I think, In the reviews its priced at click here £1898.80 inc VAT

So Ok I can't compete with my cheaper cameras prices but I've had a look round Amazon marketplace and my cameras are cheap compared to alot of the other marketplace camera shops.

The pages do have a high quality image at the bottom, where customers can see every detail of the camera.

I will go change my email address to info or support , yeah agreed the yahoo I suppose doesn't offer much hope it being very professional.

I'll get rid of the review section then, I suppose not many customers would be bothered anyway writing their reviews.

I totally take on what you have said and yeah I wouln't of asked if I couldn't take critism. I'm just going to hope potential customers well at least some of them will be patient for the pages to load, cause starting for scratch isn't really a option, to much money has gone into this one, maybe down the line I could have a html version made but unfortunatly not just yet.

Oh and I'll run the text through a spell checker for those pages you mentioned.

And sorry for posting this on the consumers forum, I didn't know there was a web design forum now, I'll go check it out.

Thanks again

  erkmatrix 10:28 30 Jul 2003

Oh and any ideas of promoting websites the best places to list and get my name about.

I have heard that yahoo well only in australia at the moment(coming to the UK soon) have a ecommerce shopping site, where merchants set up there own shop and can sell from there using yahoo secure servers, like amazon marketplace and z-shops.

These places are a good idea cause you get the traffic , ok you pay them a cut of course but you get the people hiting your shop.

As I say I'm on the PPC search engines with overture and really wanna get some hits that don't always cost so much.


  Forum Editor 18:55 30 Jul 2003

about the budget being stretched, and I can well understand that contemplating a redesign is a little daunting, but.......... I feel that you'll have to do it if you ever want the online business to develop.

In my personal opinion your friend was wrong when he said Flash sites were the future. Flash has been around for a long time, and two or three years ago everyone went Flash mad. Things have changed somewhat now, and the trend is very definitely towards clean, fast-loading HTML and data-driven sites.

An HTML site would be pretty easy to put together - anyone with a modicum of design knowledge would be able to do it in two or three days at most - and it shouldn't cost a great deal. I'm not sure I would recommend using an e-commerce package, I don't think you have enough product lines to make the cost worthwhile. As I said before - the present site is likely to deter potential customers rather than attract them, which is why I feel so strongly that you need to take rapid and drastic action.

  erkmatrix 23:00 30 Jul 2003

Thanks guys

yeah some of those points I totally agree with and thanks for being honest as I'll never make more sales without a little bit of brutal honesty.

I have decided that well what I'm going to do is offer the visitor a flash version and a html version,I've been thinking about this today to either I've heard of a company called ishop where you can build a shop from scratch, and just put the link on the homepage so those without broadband or the unpatient lol can have easy access.

Oh Taran, thanks very much for your help, and you mentioned this 1&1 and easily companies offer site templates. Well could you please give the links to those sites for me to have a look at, and yes the site is built using moonfruit tools.

Yeah and could someone please give me some tips on promoting it when I've got the new html site as well. wheres the best places I should be posting my site, and the best marketing techniques that creates unique traffic to my site.

Cheers again


  erkmatrix 23:20 30 Jul 2003

Hi Taran

Just checked out the onandone site and from what I'veseen it looks great and well just what I need to give a more professional look. Havn't quite decided which package to go for the business eshop or the pro one, yeah its more or less the sort of thing I saw at ishops but looks alot better. I'm going to decide tomorrow which have another look at ishops and oneandone. But thanks so much for bringing this site to me without you wouldn't know it excisted.


  erkmatrix 17:00 31 Jul 2003

With oneandone templates , there are some nice one with the websitecreator and think it could be possible better using one of them packages, as I can use Paypal shopping cart and just have a link next to my items like on my flash site, but the only problem is the 25 pages. I want to give the customer a good description, spec and picture of each items and wanted to add video cams and Security cams to my shop. But with only 25 pages think its going to be hard.


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