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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Alright, so I managed to build a t-shirt business with a decent amount of designs: www.cuush.com
But now that I've done a little advertising on Google and Overture, I'm shot down in flames!

I got plenty of targeted traffic (and lots of click fraud - but that's another story)...
NO sales whatsoever, very little wandering past the main page, and maybe TWO people actually added the product to cart (and then abandoned it).

Admittedly it was only about 500 visitors between the two search engines, some of which were fraudulent...
but damn, what is the average conversion ratio for t-shirts? Is PPC even viable?

I've been a web designer for years, I've got experience with online marketing and tracking my results...
I know the rules of web design and e-commerce - ie) I tested the site with music "on" and music "off" - no difference.

But this is just brutal...
Either my site has major useability flaws, or my designs just suck, or my price is unreasonable...or what?

I need some serious insight here...
I've been staring at this for so long I can't see the problems anymore.

Brutally honest comments welcomed!

Thx
 

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Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

I really like your site & shirt designs ... don't see anything wrong with either. Your price is reasonable and from what I can tell the site seems user-friendly.

The conversion ratio for my site has been roughly 1 sell (though it may be several shirts in that 1 sell) per 100 visitors. And I don't use PPC.

So give it a little more time before you send out invites to a pity party. You'll do fine. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

Nice designs Rhonda...not my cup of tea, but I appreciate the quality!
Makes me want to wear one, which would probably raise some questions with the family!

Anyway, I'm just surprised... 0:500 is terrible from my experience.
I've built over 20 PPC campaigns in competitive industries (for ugly sites) and I've never seen ratios that low.

I can't help but wonder if my theme is just too obscure,
of if something about the site design is just not working to pull people in.

One thing I've been able to see through tracking is that most people don't scroll down...
I already knew this, but I thought I had enough enticement to motivate.

Anyway, I hadn't gotten any outside opinions on the useability of this design yet...
after the initial shock of this PPC gutter I figured it was time.

And with that said, excuse me for posting this in the wrong forum.
I noticed afterwards there was a site review section.
 

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Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

Hey Cuush

I like the site and I like your designs too, they are tees that I would wear myself. But I'm wondering, how would I find your tees to buy?
The usual way I find new places to shop is either googling a specific brand and then finding websites that sell that brand, and others.
I check out the t shirt/clothing blogs most days, and also frequent a couple of fashion forums.
And via good old fashioned print media.

I'm not so up on the ppc and stats and things. But from a viewer point of view, how would I find you?

Am I explaining my point okay?

R
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

batfink said:
I'm not so up on the ppc and stats and things. But from a viewer point of view, how would I find you?
R, don't get me wrong...I haven't done any other marketing yet.
I have an enormous list of places to network, ads to buy, listings to post, etc.

But I start with PPC because it's (usually) a solid foundation for any business.
I expected to get 70% of my sales directly from Google Adwords.

So to answer directly...
you would find me on Google (or Yahoo) when you search one of the 1300 t-shirt keywords I was bidding on.
(I turned the account off a few hours ago to evalute the stats and site, so you won't see my ads right now).

If people searching for "retro t-shirt" or "motorcycle t-shirt" ARE finding me and NOT buying,
then I have to wonder what the problem is with the site or the designs.

Which is why I asked for brutal opinions...
I need people to really piss on this site so I can get an idea of where the potential problems may be.
 

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Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

Jay,
I really like your designs and think there is a market for them. I liked your site, love the roll-overs, it would be nice to see the actual shirt here I think.
But, the one thing that just backed me up, was the color purple against the white background. Hated it. I don't have anything against purple. It just seemed very harsh on opening. Sort of "in my face" in a bad way. If I was shopping, it would have turned ME away. IMO.

Good luck,
Darrell
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

DFras said:
the one thing that just backed me up, was the color purple against the white background. Hated it.
Now that's interesting...
I've been so focused on the idea of the classic purple buddha,
I didn't even think that it may be too much for the average surfer just walking in the door.

I'll test that for sure. thx Darrell
 

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Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

Badalou on the attack.. Jay.. Your site is great.. your shirts are great.. there are tons of people that would buy your shirts.. but, and there is always a but... I am starting to see so many of this style and the funny saying style tee shirts out there that I am getting cross eyed. I truly believe the web market is saturated with the these types of styles. Where do I go to buy one. Cafepress has thousands.. and how many more of those type of webs sell them???? How many e commerce stores sell them??? . How many of you guys here on the forum do business on the net only???. I am constantly seeing folks saying the same thing over and over again.How come I get hits and no one buys them. A lot of you are great designers. I have seen some really awesome designs and wish I could do it. I have seen some great web sites out there also. I do web designing also and have been criticized about problems with my own web site, It is not designed using the new technology, another pffft! . I don't care..Why? ahhhh... the truth.. My web sites are not out there to sell on line, nope, eh, eh, nada! But, remember my but.. it is out there to catalog my product. It saves me a lot of paper. If I just sat back and waited for sales to come from my web site no matter how great or bad it was or is and I had to depend on those sales then folks.. I would be living in my car and guess what.. my press will not work off my cigarette lighter.. The name of my company speaks volumes.. L J Robin Marketing.. get it "Marketing." I worked for the Government and ran retail and restaurant operations for 3 VA Hospitals. I had the second largest operation in the United states of 172 VA Hospitals. I could have sat back and let people just walk into the stores we operated but I didn't. I did in house flyer's.. I went to the departments and gave them sale information for their employees. I had events. People waited for those things to happen.. My bosses would have other Stores send their unsold merchandise to me because I would move it.. OK, those of you who know me know I am windy.. So what I am saying is if you build a web site and expect it to generate sales.. forgetaboutit! You guys are not Sears, Target, Walmart, Kmart or Costco.. that spend billions to sell... tee shirts? OK Sit down make a list.
1. What would it cost me to advertise in my local paper?
2. How much would it cost me to get in my car and find stores that will allow me to have a trunk sale?(Stores allow you to sell your product for a day for piece of the sales)
3. Where can I go to sell my shirts.. Hospitals? Flea markets? Events?
I am going to stop here. Oh wait, no I am not.. The click through advertising does work.. it did a great job for me for my cat site.. but when you have to bid on a key words that people use to find Tee shops it going to get expensive.. then there is little 12 year old Dan out there with his buddies sitting in a room clicking away.. wow.. look at these awesome shirts.. someday when I get a job I want to buy some of these.. click, click, click!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

badalou said:
...then there is little 12 year old Dan out there with his buddies sitting in a room clicking away.. wow.. look at these awesome shirts.. someday when I get a job I want to buy some of these.. click, click, click!
LOL, your probably right on that one...

It just seems like there are a lot of other sites I've watched steadily advertise on Google and Yahoo for almost a year now.
They must be doing something right...but, they sell funny saying t-shirts that you see on everyone else's sites!

How many websites have I seen a "Get Your Tickets to The Gun Show" shirt ...and they call it their own original humor!

I used to hear of rival t-shirt sites suing each other for copyright infringement on humor designs a couple years ago...I don't think they do that anymore. You just can't go to court over an "iPoo" t-shirt joke...it's stupid to try.

I have plans to market other avenues, I've just had really great success with PPC in the past...
I'm disappointed at the way traffic is just flowing through my site like water, it just feels like something isn't right.

I dunno...I think PPC will have to go on the backburner until I can gain some footing.
 

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Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

It is a tough market out there people.. I want you to know you have an uphill climb.. me I am retired.. kinda.. I could walk away from this.. but then my wife would tell me to go find something else to do because I would be climbing the walls.. or playing poker on line .. Is there such a thing as too much poker.. naaa!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

BURNTEES: I know, it's a limitation of the shopping cart vs my design.

I'm gonna chop this site at the knees and go shamelessly sparse,
skip the user experience and just give them the fodder they're used too.

I read somewhere a while back...
ugly cookie-cutter e-commerce sites work well because people are used to them.
I never thought in a million years it would work better than a custom site tho.

This experience is ridiculous so far...I had an easier time selling pr0n online!
(Which happens to be VERY hard to sell, contrary to popular belief.)

SOLMU: Yeah, since my entire theme is music based...it made sense.
I want people to hear what they can have for FREE if they buy a shirt.
Besides, all the music is faded-in slowly.

I'm getting more people wandering through the site now, but nobody is adding to cart...
honestly, I think they're just checking out the tunes on each page. dammit.

T-BOT: At this point I could get by with 10...
 

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Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

Hey Jay,

do you really want to test your sites selling capabilities with Adwords ?

Place a little javascript ad that will come up on every page of your site.

The ad would need to be a Super-Special, something like:

All t-shirts $ 5/ea. Today Only (you can run it for a week ;) ).

If dont sell any t-shirts, I would scap the site or figure out how to improve it. I know thats what you are trying to do Now! duh!

This test will give you a good idea where your site/products stand in the market Place.
 

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Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

I think Lou gave you real info. The site looks great and the designs are tight. The purple is a silly little thing. You are in a vast ocean of sites just like yours with products just like yours. Anyone ever experimented with subliminal messages in visuals or sound. Does anyone ever ask for the purchase...ask to buy!!! Does anyones site ever lead directly to the end result or is it three clicks away.
 

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Looks like you know your PPC stuff, so my only suggestions would be to:

1) Lose the sound.

2) Rework the shopping cart to buy the buy button on top. After all that scrolling, I actually thought it was an article and not a shopping cart page :)

3) Test without those javascript hover zoom overs on the image on the main page. I think customers aren't expecting it and it can throw shoppers off (especially if they aren't web savvy). It threw me off and I've been buying online for 10 years.

4) Maybe add an estimate of shipping charges on catalog pages.

5) Make the links easier to read and recognize as links. Especially the sizing chart link.

6) Maybe test the site with "less" choices. It could be that you are overwhelming the shopper with stuff they have to do just to get a cool t-shirt.

All that said, I would buy all of your t-shirts and wear them (I dig the supersoft alternativeapparel shirts you're using).

It could be that PPC might not be the right avenue for the vintage t-shirt theme. It could be that better conversions will just have to come from natural search engine results and other forms of advertising over time.

Good luck with the site though! I've got it bookmarked for a future purchase :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions people...
I take all of them as solid ideas and plan to do some acid tests (no pun intended).

That's the beauty of PPC - it doesn't cost much to run tests. Too bad I didn't run them sooner!
(What's that? The sound of ego getting in the way...yup!)

Anyway I realize it's a tough market, but I feel like there's a bigger problem here.

You've given me some perspective and I think it's time to systematically dis-assemble my original plan and find where the problem is.
Even if it takes me all the way back to a plain white page! LOL

I'll update this thread if I discover something with this current site...
otherwise I'll be posting a new site for review, if it comes to that! :rolleyes:

I just got stuck in such a focus block, I didn't even think about things like lowering price, changing bells & whistles, etc...
all your suggestions have got me back on track now.

Thanks,
< J >
 

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Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

T-BOT said:
... I find you need to sell at least 20 shirts per day to earn a living.
That's if you don't have to pay for your traffic...

If your conversions are 1:100, which is very good, you would need 2,000 visitors a day to sell 20 shirts. That's a lot of traffic to get for free.

You must be very good at generating free traffic. I'm jealous...:rolleyes:
 
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