Monday, June 11, 2007

I Just Don't Get It

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I am exasperated as I write this. Are all my web customers idiots or... is there something I just don't SEE???

I sell rubber stamps. I sell hundreds of different rubber stamps. 90% of what I sell (off the website) is rubber stamps.

So imagine my frustration every week when I receive a search report from the company that provides a search engine on my business website. Every week, the number one request is "stamps." How can this be??? This is the majority of what is on the website.

I am the first to admit that my site, clocking in at just over 900 pages, has become very unwieldy. Months ago, to counteract the searchers of "stamps," I went in and renamed every category that had stamps in it (which makes the bottom of every page look awful) just so people would stop searching for "stamps." And still, it's the number one request.

I wrote on my products page in big red letters "TO FIND THE STAMPS click the category below you wish to see." And still, they search for stamps.

So I've hired a big, expensive webmaster and the process is not something I'm looking forward to. And right now, I feel like I'm spending money simply because my customer base is either stupid or too lazy to read.
But it's either hire the guy or go bald.

What was it about running a business that was so appealing???

8 comments:

Annie said...

Creekhiker, you've learned I think that people often want to be led by the hand.

Ordinary Janet said...

Holly, I think I see the problem. When I went to the site, I just wanted to see the stamps, so I clicked "Products", and there's a bunch of stuff about site security, etc. I didn't read it, I was looking for the stamp categories. I had to scroll way down to get to the categories. If I'm a customer looking to buy stamps, I'm not gonna have the patience to look all over the place for the product categories. You might want to move the categories up to the top of the products page, and make a separate page for the security stuff. Most sites have a separate page for security stuff.

That "our website is best navigated from the bottom of the page" isn't turning me on, either. I'd rather be able to navigate from the top of a page, rather than scroll down. If you like it like this, you might want to put that note at the top of the page to give customers a heads-up.

I was thrilled to see that you've spelled Dalmatian right, but the Sarah Jean text has a typo: the birthcake. That word makes me think of placenta. ;-)

Ordinary Janet said...

Oh, what I mean to say is that there are a lot of shopping options out there, and I know I'm impatient and if I can't find what I want right away, I go to another site. It doesn't have anything to do with being stupid or lazy-it's a matter of time and patience.

CreekHiker said...

Annie, So true!

Janet, WOW! Thanks so much for taking the time to look around! I deeply appreciate the feedback. I fixed the Sarah Jean thing.

The moving to the top thing and being able to navigate from top or bottom is the very reason I hired a webmaster. Those are things my current web guy can't / won't let me access so they can't be fixed easily. That is on my wish list for the new guy.

I am still so amazed that I've done everything within my power to fix and still they search for "stamps!"

Thanks again!

Ordinary Janet said...

Holly, I was afraid you might think I was being overly critical and you'd never speak to me again. ;-) A couple years ago I had a jewelry consignment sales site and spent a lot of time on it (it didn't work out for me, I went bust). You have to look at your site from the customer's viewpoint, and check out your competition, which I'm sure you've done. I have to say it's very important that the customer get to see what you have when they get to your home page, or at least be able to find what you have without jumping through hoops. I know that when I'm shopping, I want to see what's offered and not be forced to admire what a wonderful job the web designer did. That's just me, but I'm sure that a lot of people are as impatient as I am.

CreekHiker said...

Janet, NO! I'm not like that! Part of the reason my site is the way it is and why I have to hire a designer is my shopping cart.

I can't stand commercial shopping carts and I especially hate when you put something in the cart and take forever to get back to the page you were shopping on.

I really feel this is why the customer doesn't make multiple item purchases which is crucial to a business like mine.

Anyway, hopefully it will all be revamped soon. Thanks again for looking. Holly

Ordinary Janet said...

I didn't know shopping carts were so complicated. Hope you get it all worked out to your satisfaction!

CreekHiker said...

Oh Janet, The fact is, most of them AREN'T... that's why they suck. And there is no great movement with web companies to create a better one...but I think most places are happy selling one or two things. If your aim is to sell more than that, you need a better cart.

Mine is a much better cart but I lost functionality a few years back when the post offc. went to a flat rate box. I haven't had the money or time to deal with it til now. UGH!