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hello everyone. i am in NO WAY trying to promote my website at all. I won't even type in my address. but i will say for those of you who want to check out my address, it's my ID with a "www." at the beginning and a ".com" at the end. :)

So our website has been live for about 1 month now and i've only done a little bit of Google AdWords marketing. We've had about 600 visitors, but unfortunately we've had no success in selling a t-shirt. :( On top of the Google Adwords, i've created a Facebook and Twitter page with an incentive to become a fan/follower by giving away free "something" to the first 100 fans/followers. I have free shipping, and free return shipping, as well as a 30% off coupon. ALL WITH NO LUCK. :(

So of course my initial thought is, is it the designs? is it the price? is it the website? In my opinion, i think the price is the factor more so than the designs itself. I was not the one who decided on the final price. With printing on american apparel shirts, cost of ink, and labor, we've come to a price of $29.50, and that includes free shipping/no tax/free return shipping. Our train of thought is, You make the price higher to demonstrate your quality.

I, personally, am not the one who designs the clothes. i am the Business Operations manager, and i may add, i am doing a poor job.

I know that the first stage of marketing is, "who is your target audience?" and to tell you the truth, the Investor in this company wants the target audience to be EVERYONE. But we are definitely more aiming to the graphic T community. Which is still very broad.

We are digitally printing these shirts on American Apparel Shirts, but with our own tags sewn in.

I would like any opinions please! i am not opposed to anyone that would have constructive criticism as well. i would just like to start selling.

help. :(
 

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hello everyone. i am in NO WAY trying to promote my website at all. I won't even type in my address. but i will say for those of you who want to check out my address, it's my ID with a "www." at the beginning and a ".com" at the end. :)

So our website has been live for about 1 month now and i've only done a little bit of Google AdWords marketing. We've had about 600 visitors, but unfortunately we've had no success in selling a t-shirt. :( On top of the Google Adwords, i've created a Facebook and Twitter page with an incentive to become a fan/follower by giving away free "something" to the first 100 fans/followers. I have free shipping, and free return shipping, as well as a 30% off coupon. ALL WITH NO LUCK. :(

So of course my initial thought is, is it the designs? is it the price? is it the website? In my opinion, i think the price is the factor more so than the designs itself. I was not the one who decided on the final price. With printing on american apparel shirts, cost of ink, and labor, we've come to a price of $29.50, and that includes free shipping/no tax/free return shipping. Our train of thought is, You make the price higher to demonstrate your quality.

I, personally, am not the one who designs the clothes. i am the Business Operations manager, and i may add, i am doing a poor job.

I know that the first stage of marketing is, "who is your target audience?" and to tell you the truth, the Investor in this company wants the target audience to be EVERYONE. But we are definitely more aiming to the graphic T community. Which is still very broad.

We are digitally printing these shirts on American Apparel Shirts, but with our own tags sewn in.

I would like any opinions please! i am not opposed to anyone that would have constructive criticism as well. i would just like to start selling.

help. :(
what is the website
 

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Take some time and keep pushing. Internet marketing takes time and effort and it sounds like you have all of the usual suspects covered. More throughly than most in fact. Website looks good, and while I am not a potential buyer for your shirts (just not my style) I really genuinely like the artwork. Nothing glaring to change or re work that I can see. I do feel like your price point is a bit high. While i do like american apparel shirts quite a bit, I do think they are overpriced. Its been my experience that in that price point people are looking for shirts with specialty washes and such.
 

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Well, the first thing I'll throw out is that the site is made a little..different

to get more traffic, it's important that search engines like Google know your site exists. They know your site exists because they have "spiders" aka little programs, crawling the whole internet, reading the text in websites and returning what they find to Google

The thing with your site is that all of your important "text" is just sliced up JPGs. Googles spiders can only read straight-text, not text that's part of a JPG.

anyways, fixing that could help google index your site better, getting you higher on the search results, and probably even drive up traffic, but it's a big if

follow some popular artists/printers on Twitter with lots of friends and see if they'll retweet your deals to their followers, that will definitely help. lol this guy I know got Shaq (yeah SHAQ!) to RT the announcement of his new EP on iTunes and it definitely helped his sales.

and above all else it always helps to just start passing out business cards and going to networking events. Mixers!
 

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Navigation:
As I entered your website, I attempted to click on your two walls of images but figured that those are not buttons but a larger image.

The six small pictures on two brick walls meant nothing to me. and would have had more interest if there was one large image with one or two models together in one picture. They should wear your best male and female tshirts, and have a direct link to the product page.

It took me a while to figure out that what I thought was a banner ad and had ignored (most people ignore banner ads completely) was actually the way to the products section.

Your Designs:
Although not my style I did like some of them, and I may purchase them if they were cheaper and more convenient. like say in a store.

There wasn't anything I was excited about and most of them looked like generic graphic t-shirts(sorry).

here are your options (in terms of t-shirt design):

1. Sell to retailers with graphic t-shirt interests.

2. your t-shirts don't really mean anything to me. ( i dont understand) put some meaning or description?

3a. Graphic t-shirts are a tough market. there isn't really fan base or following. abandon ship.

3b. brand based Designs. put your brand on every design, maybe you'll catch a fanbase. Its still easier to sell joke tees, than graphic tees or band tees.

4. Youtube celebrity promotions. send your stuff out to Youtube celebs. if they like your stuff they might even wear it on their next video.

Overall feel of your website:
I don't feel like I know and trust your company well enough to buy from you. I still dont know what you're about after visiting your "about us" page.

here are a few changes to the website i would make in your position:


Establish trust:

1.Put right on the front page all of you(or atleast feature your about me page):

your names, pictures or group picture, what your company is about, your story, what you guys want entering the tshirt sales market, what you hope to gain from this.

If people don't want your tshirts, knowing who they are benefiting will help sell your product.

2. Ditch the masks.
your models they are wearing masks.
(I know about the dance crew.and the hype)

I and most people dont trust people wearing masks. I want to know who I am buying from, its a subconscious thing.

Trust is really really important, I cannot stress this enough.


One last very important thing, Outdoor pictures in parks or beaches feel much happier.

you want your potential customers to imagine wearing your tshirt with friends and having a great time. tell them that "if you wear my tshirts you will have a great time"


I really hope this helps you guys and would like to see some improvements on your website. and also hope you guys get some orders soon.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow....thank you everyone for all the great advice! i guess i've been so focused on other things i didn't even think about the TRUST issue.

Please keep the advice/opinions coming.:)
(dont' worry, i won't be hurt by any opinions.)
 

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Dennis really posted many valid points and it was very nice of him to take the time to do so. I'll add a few of my own - some may be redundant with what Dennis said.

Points 1 & 2 you really answered yourself, the problem seems that maybe there are others in the company who won't let you do your job right and are asking you to basically stuff your own opinions and make things happen their way.
1 - Marketing strategy. who do you appeal to? Like you said, your investor wants that to be "everyone".. but as you can see based on your sales figures, that really translates into "noone". It's backwards to make shirts (or any product) and then try to figure out who to sell it to. You need to identify a target and then figure out what he probably wants and then get it to his attention.

2 - price ... Your designs are generally nice, even if sometimes a bit "artsy" for my taste - but even the ones I like, I can find plenty of other ones I like out there for $15 to $20, why would I fork $30?

3 - designs. The designs themselves while decent don't say anything to anyone. people often wear tshirts to identify with something, be it a cause, a culture, a viewpoint ... whatever it is. That's why a friend of mine and thousands of others bought the anti-bush "bet you'll vote next time hippie" tshirt from tshirt hell for $18 - even thought the artwork was IMO fairly poor. But it didn't matter because it said something they associated with. It meant something to them and it acted as a way for them to express their views by wearing that tshirt (and this of course connects back to point 1).

4 - webdesign - looks more like a site for an underground counter-culture than a webstore. people spending on the web want just as much (or more) to feel they are doing business with a valid reliable business. Also, if you hadn't already told me I wouldn't know by the home page that you are even selling tshirts. Come to think of it if I had not known in advance, even after seeing the designs and prices I might have thought it was art being sold. It was also not clear immediately that the "men" and "women" was the link to the next pages.

I do think that it's great that you are getting out and looking for real honest "tell it if it hurts" opinions because that means you are open to change, I just worry because it seems there are others that are vetoing your opinions even though you seem to be on the right track on some things and willing to learn about the others. If that's the case my best advice would be to get out as fast as you can and try to work with people who will actually listen and be willing to change and learn.
 

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I'd be curious how many members here can consistently sell $30 t-shirts that have no tie-in to another (band, movie, etc) I think people that love graphic tees have so many great options on threadless, etc. that it is just tough. How many shirts do you need to sell per month to meet your business goals ? The fact that you have an investor is great, and says you must have something really positive going, build on that
 

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Investors can be great, but they can also create problems. A friend of mine (now my partner in screen printing) used to own a restaurant and he had an investor who wanted to make calls because he had put money in, but he was not in touch with what people wanted. I guess my point is that an investor is a 2 edged sword - can be very good or very bad.
 

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i think your shirts are really nice!

here are some of my initial thoughts (I hope you don't mind the honest feedback):
- when i first got to the site, i am not sure what it's doing. there's no place that says that it's selling t-shirts or an icon/button that says SHOP or BUY. i see Men and Women buttons, but it's not obvious that those are there so you can buy something
- there are no descriptions with your pictures. i'm not sure what the shirts are made out of, how the sizing runs, if they're pre-shrunk, etc. i would love to see some descriptions
- as far as the photos, many of them don't show the entire shirt. and i'm curious to know why the girl has a mask on her face.
- i would love to see the site be a bit more modern. right now it seems too spread out and the graphics a bit out of date

i hope this helps! i think you have some really nice tees.

good luck!
 

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Dennis hit the nail right on the head. There is absolutely nothing on your site that tells me who I'm buying from. Your about us page has no information about you beyond contact information. Your design descriptions don't tell me anything about why I might identify with the design or what meaning it might have to me. Your models are wearing masks, but I don't know why and what that's supposed to mean. It feels cold.

Basically, there's nothing with which to make a connection. If you click the Facebook or Twitter links you get taken to a form, not the actual Facebook or Twitter page where we can see more about your company. Your front page also looks a little desperate, it's all free shipping or join us and get a gift. You have to have confidence in your products before others will, and right now your front page is alternately screaming "we're too cool for you" and "love us, please love us".

The site design is nice, although your front page was off center in my browser (Firefox) and the menu with About Us etc. was below the fold. It should also be "This Week's Special" on the front page or "Special of the Week" or something like that.

I think you need to work on establishing a connection with your potential customers. Once you do that, you'll have a better chance of making some sales.
 

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Selling T shirts takes time. I launched my company 4 months ago after almost two years of research, saving, and building the whole Ambush conception. Without discussing numbers my site receives TONS of hits a day but I still sell way more shirts through word of mouth.

For a complete stranger to actually purchase something off your online store, you need to make them feel comfortable. There's nothing on your site that makes it feel personable. People don't just like cool designs, they need to be able to like the "cool" people behind those designs. Without providing any information on your self or the company, its a complete turn off and almost seems sketchy.


The designs are not bad, but the poor looking website gives your shirts and brand no justification. The website does not look appealing, or professional. You may want to add a blog, if your site is going to stay static why would some one keep checking back. PPL hate static feeds. As stated before, you need to have plain text so that your site can get crawled, the more text, the better chance your site is going to be found. This helps not just for the crawlers/spiders but for regular people. Choose the right keywords.

Also, when launching a brand its wise to start your marketing in advance. Your Twitter page should have had well over 5 followers well before your brand even launched. Like wise with your Facebook page. This way PPL are going to start anticipating your launch and when your finally live you already have a little following to back up your gear. It doesn't look that reassuring when you have a company that no one is following.

I sell my shirts for 30$ as well, some people even tell me that I could be selling them for more. But thats because i'm truly focusing on building a brand. When you purchase a shirt from my company Ambush Apparel you like the design, but your purchasing the BRAND.

This industry is absolutely huge, like literally. Nowadays, new brands need to come out and make an impact. There's definitely no sitting back, were new brands, PPL arn't looking for us. We need to be looking for them.

Keep trucking away, I will as well.

PS...Not sure when you found this site, but you should have read the forums thoroughly prior to the launch. Or at least did some research on google.
 

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here go my 2 cents..replace the walls with the male-female buttons (made bigger) make the wall a small banner style above or below the other banner..loose the mask on your models the jaba-wakees (i'm sure spelling is wrong,) been there done that.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
wow, once again, Thank you guys sooo very much. i am implementing one by one of everything that you guys are advising. Keep them coming, please!!!

Once again, Thank you very much. With all this help, i'm sure to get some sales.
 

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My first opinion is that the site was really slow. Maybe it was loading to much info , but I personally wont wait for a page to load more than a minute or so.

The mask in the pics a cool in concept, but I think it automatically puts you in a uncomfortable zone, IE it feels unapproachable from the beginning.

I see the price is $19 now, but even still while the designs are cool, nothing in particular would make me want to purchase then wait for them to come in the mail.
I'd be more incline to pick it up in a store though.

From a female perspective, I know it may be gimmicky, but colors, smiles, something that actually makes me visualize myself in the shirt would make me more incline to buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Okay, so i've taken EVERYBODY's advice into consideration. I've changed my whole website layout, dropped the models in masks, cut the prices, and now i'm trying to "connect" with the customers now and giving them an opportunity to trust buying a shirt from us.

So far, just by only marketing on Google Adwords, i've been attracting anywhere from 30-80 visitors per day. Which is not bad i think for just slappin' an ad on Google Adwords and letting it work. Still no sales. =(

gotta keep on truckin'. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Okay, so i've taken EVERYBODY's advice into consideration. I've changed my whole website layout, dropped the models in masks, cut the prices, and now i'm trying to "connect" with the customers now and giving them an opportunity to trust buying a shirt from us.

So far, just by only marketing on Google Adwords, i've been attracting anywhere from 30-80 visitors per day. Which is not bad i think for just slappin' an ad on Google Adwords and letting it work. Still no sales. =(

gotta keep on truckin'. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
It looks like you still haven't written descriptions for each product to tell customers about the design (inspiration, why it's cool, why they should buy, what's on the t-shirt, etc)

Product descriptions can make sales. Just take a look at woot.com (and shirt.woot.com)

Someone also probably already mentioned it, but your homepage doesn't make it look like you have a lot of t-shirt designs. There's nothing really inviting the user to clearly click to see more t-shirt designs.

The navigation links are hard to read against the dark background, so you're really making the customer *work* to give you their money. You need to make it easier. Much easier.

Show more t-shirt designs right on the homepage. That will make it less clicks to get to an actual "add to cart" button.

The font on your promotional banners at the bottom (facebook, new designs, etc) is very hard to read.

Your homepage is actually sort of off putting and doesn't really entice me to want to click to see any more designs.

You don't want to run adwords just to increase your traffic, you want to increase your sales. Those visitors are costing you money, so if they aren't converting into sales, it may not be a good idea just to throw money at it. I wouldn't start advertising until you had a really good idea who your market is, what keywords they search for, and make sure every landing on your page is top notch so it encourages people to shop and stick around.
 
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