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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Re: How Long till you're successful? Marketing Tips?

After reading this post, I think I am going to have to give up the T-Shirt business. I am embarrassed to share my last month stats with you guys, but here it goes.

You can check out the two PDF documents, they actually have some pretty good details about the web traffic.
Normsbait: www.normsink.com/July.htm


Normsbrand: www.normsink.com/July.htm

Right click and select 'Save As'.


Overview:

My First site:
www.normsbait.com

For the Month of July 2006:

574 Unique Vistors

Second Site:

For the Month of July 2006:

1,060 Unique Vistors

Here is the best part.....

I sold nothing from both sites during the month of July and June.

The key is figuring out why people are not buying from your site, and how to get the people that buy shirts to your site. This is something I have no idea about.

I am guessing my stuff isn't very marketable. I am glad that I have not quit my day job.

If you have any suggestions / comments, let me hear them.

 

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Hi Norm, I moved this post to it's own thread so it could get better attention (and because it was a request for a site review with links to your site :))

You have provided some pretty good information there for analysis. I have some suggestions that I'll post later, but maybe other members have some specific tips for you and your site.
 

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The best resource to learn how to increase conversion rates is webmasterworld.com with out a doubt, wealth of knowledge there but I will try and grace you with some of mine :)

Tips:

1. Your biggest problem is you have no ZOOM image. The customer needs to see the design much larger.

2. The PayPal shopping cart sucks. I use PayPal but just to checkout.. you have ZERO control on your conversion rate here. The cart is the biggest factor that affects conversions. DON'T open in a new browser window. If the person has added something to the cart you want them to continue to pay not be distracted elsewhere on your site. If you had your own shopping cart software you could upsell in the cart to cross promote products. Not always a good thing to do but a possibility.

3. Customer Confidence.
* Who are you?
* Where in the world are you?
* Where do you ship to?
* What's your return / privacy policy.
* How much does shipping cost?
* How can I get hold of you if something goes wrong? Phone number / email/ contact forms.
* I have questions, I need help where's your FAQs.

All these questions need to be easily answerable from the cart.

Limit the links in your cart - just the important ones. If you end up with a side menu throughout your side don't include that in your cart template it will only make people click around and not buy.


4. Ditch the PayPal Add To Cart buttons, they are white, boring and bland and do not draw me to them. Visit buttongenerator.com and make some that stand out. Red, orange works well.

Try changing the placement of them. Put them on the right hand side.

5. Your t-shirts lack descriptions about the design. Who do they appeal to? What market.. if I flaming skull t-shirt appeals to a biker say that. It's good search engine food nonetheless.

6. If you haven't got traffic, pay for it. It's the quickest way to learn why you are not converting. Target individual t-shirts as they all have different markets. Then WATCH your stats carefully. If they are coming and going ask yourself why, or ask me.

7. Add more t-shirts. You don't have to go crazy with your stock but you need variety. It increases sales not because you have more products but because people are more confident and can chose the best t-shirt of the bunch.

What happens when you walk in an empty shop?

8. What measurements are your sizes in? Inches, MMs, CMs, or elephants?

9. It's taken me this long to find your FAQs.. make them stand out. Put your menu bar above the fold.

10. You put your phone number on your about us page.. try putting it on the top right of every page. An 0800 number would be better but it's a start.

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Things you have got right:

1. Stock level indicator. Although it's all in HTML this is going to be a nightmare for you to update.

2. Sales. It will urge people to purchase quicker but obviously it isn't working. Revise your sale. Maybe $$ off not % off. Or free shipping on first order, % off first order.

3. I definately like the background on the Bait site. The shadowing is nice.. it draws me into the t-shirt. Maybe try something similar on your Brand site.

4. Bait site shows design view as a thumbnail. It's much easier to see what the design is and is likely to convert better although they only link to one type of tee, maybe offer the design on more than one type.

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You seem to be investing in a lot of stock. If that becomes an issue just put up a design, see if you get orders for it, and work in a Just In Time fashion. Make the customer aware of the lead time. This will give you a much healthier shop and very little investment.

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"Each shirt is printed by Norm in limited quantities. Click on the shirt to see how many are left. "

This is negative. It's purpose is to make people buy quicker but you are telling them to see how many you do not have. Look at how Threadless do it. Maybe, "Limited quantities, going fast, buy now" sort of thing.. but with more effort ;)

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That's it.. I've tried to be truthful. Don't look at my post as being negative I've tried to really give you a helping hand. If you need an further help just PM me I'm always keen to help.
 

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Hello Norm.
From a marketing standpoint, I really can't give you any advice.
But as a common costumer and an observator I can.

Your shirts have very proffesional designs! They are all very, very well designed and look quite wearable.
The thing is, they are all selling NORM. And...Who is Norm (bear with me, I know it's you ;P)?
Thats the question people are going to ask themselves.
"Why should I buy from this site a shirt that says "Norm"?
You need to market your name as a brand. Build a strong base so then you can sell people stuff with NORM plastered all over them.
At least thats the way I see it, in my personal view.

Now, I could deffinately see these shirts sellling at Old Navy or some place like that!
Its different when these kinds of shirts sell at stores, cuz people dont usually go into the store especiffically looking for the shirt.
In a website, its a bit different. Going to a webite, specificaly to buy "Norm Wear" is a little bit tricky if people don't know what is "Norm".

Its like...as if Google started selling tshirts with "google" on them, but back when they started. You bet few people would've bought them. But now they have built such a strong brand name that people would even buy a nutritional candy bar with the name "google" on it.

Bottom line: Don't give up and if what you are sellinghas to do with your brand name...build a strong name.
 

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2. The PayPal shopping cart sucks. I use PayPal but just to checkout.. you have ZERO control on your conversion rate here. The cart is the biggest factor that affects conversions. DON'T open in a new browser window. If the person has added something to the cart you want them to continue to pay not be distracted elsewhere on your site. If you had your own shopping cart software you could upsell in the cart to cross promote products. Not always a good thing to do but a possibility

I know this has come up in other threads, but what can you suggest for a shopping cart. I am in the same boat as Norm where I have spent a lot of time designing the front end of my shop but have/need to use paypal for payment. I looked into ZenCart, OsCommerce and the like but from what I could tell you had to use the whole thing which quite frankly is a poorly designed generic front end.

Are there any shopping carts only that you can use with paypal and can be intergated into your existing website and don't cost the earth or have to be Bill Gates to configure?

Cheers
Rob
 

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M-BLaze said:
Are there any shopping carts only that you can use with paypal and can be intergated into your existing website and don't cost the earth or have to be Bill Gates to configure?

Cheers
Rob
hey Rob, have a look at the Form Code Below..... is this simple enough for you to key in your own Item Attributes Highlighet in Red ? if so, it's that easy to intergate this FREE shopping Cart to your site, http://www.nopdesign.com/freecart/.



Quantity:





Select a color:

Red
Blue
White

Select a size:

Small
Medium
Large


Check out now

 

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Lucy, you are a star, that is just what I'm looking for (I think) shouldn't have any problems integrating that as I'm comfortable with html and javascript, many thanks, I owe you a pint!

Also Adam thanks for the great info as well.

Cheers
Rob
 

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I totally agree with adam and rangy.....

The FIRST thing I thought when I looked at your designs was, "Who the heck is Norm!" Developing yourself as a brand is very tricky.

The next thing I did when I clicked thru your friends links(Fishin buds) is .... I clicked on them.....which turned my attention directly away from your site.

You may be getting a lot of hits on your site, but are you getting the right hits? Who are you marketing to? What was your strategy? You can get a million uniques a day and not get a single sale if you are marketing to the wrong people.

I like your designs, I like your niche....it has not been overdone. I would not throw in the towel quite yet....I would just implement what adam said in his post, among others.

Cuz hell....If the quote......"If you build it, they will come" worked and it was easy, then everyone would be doing it. Don't give up....its a roller coaster ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First I would like to say thanks to everyone. You guys have given me direction and great ideas that I need to work on.

Adam - Thanks for being honest and putting in that much time for feedback. I am going to work on all your suggestions, and will probably be asking for more feedback when I am finished.

3Leches & Dub3325 - I will be working on the branding, very difficult. I chose the Norm name not only because it is my name, but it is an old man name and kinda funny too.
 

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I know this has come up in other threads, but what can you suggest for a shopping cart.
Hi Rob, I would check out www.cubecart.com. It is a very customizable FREE shopping cart with a lot of options. It will allow you to accept paypal and other payments as you grow.
 

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M-BLaze said:
Thanks Rodney, I will.

Cheers
Rob
Hi Nord,

Good to hear that you aren't giving up yet....I am in the process of modifying my cubecart, and LOVE the software. Be aware that it will require in depth understanding of CSS if you want to fully customize it. If you have any questions, and cannot find them in the cubecart help forum, then I can most likely help you out.
 

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Hey Norm,
Keep it going! Don't pack it in yet. I'm pretty much in the same boat as you are. When I started this thing, I figured it would take serious months on end to craft a niche on the web, find customers, get the word out, etc.

One thing I've been considering in terms of getting traffic is: what organizations/movements/demographics are out there that might find some kind of tie-in to what I'm selling? Shriners, Order of Moose, whatever. You never know... All that to say, that there are always other ways of doing it in addition to adwords and SEO. Figure out what the box is and then think way outside of it.
christopher
 

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This is scary. It is like a movie that I didn't close my eyes to. Do you sale off line too?
 

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Do you exchange links with fishing sites? That would help you get targeted traffic. Look for sites that have anything to do with fishing, hunting or older generation crowd and try to exchange links.
Like another member said in this thread, if a million people come from the wrong place, you may not sell a single item, but if a million people come from the right place, you may sell so many you cant keep up!
 
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