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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Jay, that's awesome that you are doing so well so soon! How about bottling some of that magic and sending it my way:D ! I've had my shop up for a number of months and my sales are pretty much nonexistant. I'm actually selling more in stores than online. Granted I have never been accuse of being a search engine optomization genius ;) ! I've done some advertising and have seen limited results. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. You can see my site at: www.frostycream.com . Cheers!

Doug
 

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Re: Traffic

Hey guys, thanks much for your kind words and advice! Although the site is done in Flash, through my webhost I can assign metatags and the like (although I've just noticed that I forgot to do so when I last updated the site...doh!:D ). But when I did have all my ducks in a row when I Googled Frosty Cream Clothing all I would usually get is links to frozen confections. I'm pretty optomistic though that things will turn around. Just gotta keep plugging away!

Quick question- has anyone had success in driving traffic to their site through Ebay sales?
 

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Re: Traffic

Meta tags aren't all-encompassing. Google doesn't really care about meta tags, for example. Actual content, titles, alt tags, etc. are more important. I think a combo site that includes at least some normal html as Jay suggested would be best.
 

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Re: Traffic

Hey Twinge and kingkwong, if you are cafepress members, there is a chat tonight about search engine optimization you may want to attend. I'll be there hopefully.
 

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Re: Traffic

Although the site is done in Flash, through my webhost I can assign metatags and the like (although I've just noticed that I forgot to do so when I last updated the site...doh! ). But when I did have all my ducks in a row when I Googled Frosty Cream Clothing all I would usually get is links to frozen confections.
First off, let me say that you have some awesome designs!

However, I have to agree with Twinge here. Meta tags are probably the least important factor in search engine promotion.

Making your site search engine friendly starts from the top of your page (the TITLE tag), goes on through the middle of the page (the text content) on down to the bottom of the page. Make sure your TITLE tag reflects how you want people to find you in the search engines.

You have to think, are people really going to be searching for "Frosty Cream Clothing", or are they going to be searching for "hip hop t-shirts" "DJ t-shirts" "cute t-shirts" "goth t-shirts" ,etc.

I also have to echo the comment about Flash not being your friend (at least in an ecommerce environment). Flash and selling t-shirts just doesn't go together.

Not only does it effect your search engine promotion, it also makes your site less accessible to potential customers who may not have the latest version of flash or more importantly, may not fully understand how to navigate a flash site.

I'm pretty experienced online, and it took me a long time to figure out that I could click the 4 large graphics on the main page (off the the right). I thought they were just cute cartoons and not navigational tools. When I did click on them, it was way too hard to figure out how to actually see a product and buy it. It took me several clicks to get to the actual "add to cart" button. If I was a customer and not someone reviewing your site, I would have left after the first 3 or 4 clicks didn't get me where I thought I was going. Think about how the site must feel for someone that isn't as experienced in navigating webpages.

I see that your actual shopping cart is powered by Miva. That means you have a powerful backend for your ecommerce stuff. If your site's focus is to sell t-shirts, very clear, obvious plain text and image links to your Miva store should be front and center on the main page (and every page) of your site.

I know you probably spent a lot of time on the flash site, but you may want to offer it as a "second" option for those that want that type of shopping experience. My suggestion would be to put the t-shirts/about us/storyline first in regular HTML pages, and then have links (or small flash elements on those pages) that link to the flash powered experience.

I also noticed that your product pages for your tees don't have much of a description. With all those unique characters and illustrations, they almost BEG for a backstory. You really need to take advantage of the space you have available and use the product description to tell more about your product, the design, and why it is unique. That will help customers see how cool and unique the design is and will entice them to buy.

"Crush's design is a 6 color screen print on a 6.1 oz %100 cotton black Tshirt." could be expanded to small paragraph describing who Crush is and what he's all about. That could help your customer identify with the design more. Is the t-shirt soft? Is it high quality? What is the sizing like? Who is Crush? What's on the back? Those are potential questions your customers may have. Since you're not there in person to answer those questions, your product pages need to answer them for you so the customer doesn't leave frustrated.

You are ahead of the game in a lot of respects, since your designs are better than most of the designs out there. You just have to find your audience and get your shirts in front of them and make it easy for them to learn about the tees and buy (with as few of clicks as possible)

Hope this helps some :)
 

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Re: Traffic

Great feedback guys! That's the stuff I really need to hear. I agree that having to dig deep into the site in order to get to the store is a sure fire way of driving people away from the site and I'm hoping that the redesign I'm currently doing will help solve the problem. I think it will be very clear and at almost every page give the viewer the option to jump directly to the store. I do think it's really a design issue and not a Flash issue. I'm a bit torn when it comes to html vs Flash. I think that penetration of the Flash player is currently up to the upper 90 percentiles so that pretty much everyone in the demographic I am targeting will have the player. In terms of the search engine optimization though it sounds like I should be looking into perhaps a hybrid. Thanks again for all your helpful feedback! I'll be sure to seek out your guys opinion once the redesign is done. Cheers.

Doug
 

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Re: Traffic

I do think it's really a design issue and not a Flash issue. I'm a bit torn when it comes to html vs Flash. I think that penetration of the Flash player is currently up to the upper 90 percentiles so that pretty much everyone in the demographic I am targeting will have the player
Remember, just because people *have* the flash player doesn't mean they know how or even want to use it to navigate a website.

Think about all the popular ecommerce websites (amazon, yahoo, ebay, buy.com, shopping.com, cafepress.com). There is a strong reason why they don't use flash to sell the products.

It's not just about who has the flash player, it's about how it effects the shopping experience.

I know, as a designer, we tend to think about how "we" want the site to look, but the one thing we have to take time to remember is how the "customer" wants the site to look and function.

I think a hybrid site would work well for your style of illiustration and design. There are a few articles about flash usability as it pertains to ecommerce, but I think you'll get the best feedback from actual shoppers if you do some tests (not with friends or family, but preferrably with strangers visiting your site for the first time).
 

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While a large number of people have a flash plug-in for their browser, it is much more likely that a designer will jave the latest version of Flash. So many users will find that they're expected to download a new version of the Flash plugin before they can get into and around your site.

The navigation issues by themselves are very serious, but in my book, requiring that users download a piece of software so that you can try to persuade them to buy your wares is just not sensible.
 

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Hey guys. I've gotten some great advice from you all but since I was already in the midst of a restructuring of my site I went ahead and finished that up. So the site is still Flash but hopefully a bit more intuitive to navigate. Setting aside the Flash issue for the moment, any feedback in terms of usability and design would be great! Thanks.

And if this restructuring doesn't work I'm sure I'll be back soliciting advice for creating a hybrid site (I don't know anything about html) :) .

www.frostycream.com

Doug
 

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The navigation is definitely improved and I like the descriptions you added to the products.

If it doesn't give you the results you wanted, feel free to post back here for help with an HTML based site :)
 

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Much better, I can find the store now ;) Works fine on an iMac too.
My only niggle is that the links open up a new browser window.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks guys!

Glad you could find the store ;) . Yeah I opted to have the store open in a new window so you don't have to keep hitting the back button which makes you sit throught the loader again. Thanks fer lookin'!
 

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Hey Fat HamsterGirl. I actually make them myself (as if I didn't have enough to do already:D )! The iPod covers aren't that hard to do- it usually takes just under an hour for each. I'm currently looking for a company to manufacture them in case the demand is high enough. Not sure where I can locate a manufacturer though.
 

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Those are just the super cutest things I've ever seen! Do you use hot glue or do you sew them?

If you find a manufacturer please tell me! I'd love to have some cute little plush hamster dolls made.

You should do cell phone covers too. (I don't have an ipod) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks! As for the ipod covers, they are sewn. I was thinking I might do some for cell phones too! I would just have to sew the buttonhole on the top (for the headphone jack) more to the right to accomodate the antenna. If you are looking for a plush doll manufacturer you might want to try customplushtoys.com. They don't require you to order a billion at a time- I think the minimum is 500 which is actually pretty reasonable.
 

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Thank you! That site is perfect!......now I just have to come up with the cash to fund my wild ideas. Those little dolls are the best. Let me know when you have a cell phone one. :)
 
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