[Category: Web SEO]
Oct. 04, 2019
This week, I received a call to take a look at a brick and mortar business with locations throughout the United States. The company specializes in upscale clothing and has multiple retail stores and a website. The company also sells its goods on discount sites where it pays a commission for each sale. The company has an Amazon store but only offers select items, but is looking to expand on the platform.
The first thing I always do when a client calls me is to review the company first before making any suggestions. I took a look at the company website, and I realized right away the reason their online sales were lousy, and their "abandoned carts" were so high. It's because the website is weak and so are their methods of selling online.
There is one item I liked on the site, but it doesn't need to be on every page. There is a popup showing recent purchases made by past customers, one at a time, along with an image of the item, description, and a timestamp. The problem is there are a number of purchasers all from 12 hours ago, leading me to believe they're not real.
The most infuriating thing I found on the website, is that the "SPRING" collection is featured, for 2019. I worked in the printing business. Clothing companies are usually 3-6 months ahead with promoting Collections, and this company is at least six months behind. Don't bother to look for Summer 2019, or Fall 2019, there is no collection featured for those. Forget abandoned carts; this looks like an abandoned website.
Usually, when you visit an online shopping site, following the selection of a product, you are shown "suggestions" that would fit with the chosen object. There were none. After making a selection, I clicked on the shopping cart and was ready to check out. At the shopping cart again, I was surprised to see no upsell or additional products, signup for a newsletter, or discounted item. Nothing, I could have entered my credit card and been done shopping.
The overall design was okay. Please explain why there was a need for the Instagram feed with accompanying images on the bottom of the page? The second post was from Fathers Day, which was June 16, 2019, nearly four months ago. The newest post was almost as old. All the website is advertising is that their social posting is non-existent at this point. With the holidays just around the corner, you have to be nuts to ignore social networking; but if you are don't advertise it.
The next page I took a look at was the "Contact" page, sometimes a website's weakest page. I wasn't disappointed. That Instagram feed from the front page was on this page as well. Instead of an "About the Company" page, that information placed the actual contact information; without scrolling, you would never know it was there. There is a contact form, so I'm not quite sure why they publish the company email address. Even though you can contact U.S. and Canada operations through the contact form, there are two email addresses published. The address information is an image, not text, so search engines cannot read the store locations addresses and phone numbers. When you click on the image where the phone number is shown, unlike every other site, you cannot click to call. Are you kidding?
Following my visit to the website, I went to Google Search and looked up the product. Sure enough, the company appeared first in search. The problem is Google displayed the "company products" discounted on one of the sites they were selling through at the same time. Which would push most customers away from the company site directly to the discounted items on websites where they have to pay a commission to, on an item already heavily discounted. The final nail in the coffin, there was not a single review of the company or any of its products, and they have stores throughout the U.S.
On Yahoo, its listing does not appear in the top five results. On Bing, I got the same results as Yahoo and as on Google competitive listings with pricing. But there was no "business listing" on the right, which means no one set up the "free listing" on Bing. What a waste.
This is becoming a constant theme online as a business transition to the online world, and they have no idea what they are doing. The website has competition from itself on discounted sites. Now, if the items on the discounted sites were last season, or no longer sold at full price in their stores or their website, that would make sense. But if you are going to put a product out there and give the consumer a cheaper way to purchase it, Google and Bing will help them courtesy of Paid Advertising.
This is by far not the worst case, I've had clients who sell on discounted sites and Amazon discounted below their website or store. And then they add to the waste by competing with those sellers by purchasing ads on the same sites the discounters are. Nuts.
Visitors don't make a company profitable unless they are selling online ads, shoppers do.
Visitor Comments: [Comment] Note: Pages are moderated.
Most businesses design websites that look good to them without ever testing them with users which explains why most of them suck and the smart people don't bother and sell on successful sites.
Tommy [Oct. 28, 2019]
Sometimes people are looking for quality and service and will pay for it, but when a product becomes just that than price is all that matters.
GBS [Oct. 10, 2019]
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A well designed website is critical to getting calls and sales. If a shopper sees an outdated site it reflects poorly and takes away from the buying experience. Not updating the seasonal pages? May as well close the website down.
Pal [Oct. 06, 2019]
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