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Last edited February 02, 2013

Informed criticism This post is outdated

I launched my site last Sept. 9. I am on the various social networks actively. I have a blog- The Chocolate Postman-which I post to periodically. I am a reseller of 3different chocolatiers who will pack and ship for me.  I am currently running 3 price promotions.  If I can believe my analytical I am getting hits but not one sale yet. I began ecommerce to augment my Soc. Sec.. So far it's money out but none in.  Please google me at www.davidsdeliciouschocolates.com. Should I change theme, pay for SEO and if so with whom, put out more money for advtsg. If I had the money.

I know I am asking too many questions but I am frustrated!

Dave Lambert

 

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Posts:
866
February 02, 2013

Hi, David. Some quick comments....

1. I'd have separate Facebook and Twitter accounts for your business versus personal. Make sure your business posts tap into things your customer cares about relating to your products.

2. I am skeptical of hiring outsiders for SEO under the theory that the shop owner knows his/her business best. Make sure you maximize the SEO potential of your Titles and URL, use descriptive alt text on every photo, etc.

3. I would consider engaging a designer to create a sharp look that instills confidence in the visitor.

4. I suggest you look at targeting to your some niches I see from taking a look at your site: diabetics and kosher. With Google Adwords you could target sites with those topics. Imagine someone reading a site addressing their diabetes and seeing a nice photo of one of your products promising a diabetic-friendly sweet treat. Or sites with Jewish/Israel content, Kosher recipes etc.

5. Facebook CPM is pretty cheap - consider devoting a few dollars a day for a while to advertising with the goal building likes. Take care of #1 above first. Then share chocolate trivia, places around the world known for chocolate, exotic chocolate, books about chocolate, etc. 

Just some quick ideas. Good luck!

 

http://www.StandoutDesigns.com ::: Solid Wood TV Furniture for Enthusiasts. Made in USA.
Posts:
21
February 02, 2013

I think ur suggestions are good, especially targeting my 2 niches.  Designers r expensive.  I had an inexpensive one-Zephan Hazell - but he's off to greener pastures.  I was able to pay him in $50monthly pymts.

Re social networks, I thought my involvement was based on my co. Name because on FB my products are shown.  Should I use my company name in every FB message I leave?    

I will definitely look into FB CPM after my next soc. sec. Chk comes in.

Do u know of a good inexpensive designer that would be OK with monthly pymts?

And let me say that I greatly appreciate your suggestions and your willingness to help

Dave Lambert                    

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6
February 11, 2013

Hi Dave,

I am a real chocoholic, and your products look delectable, so don't give up yet!

I would agree with the other poster, you need to separate your personal and professional online presence. For example, create a Facebook "fan" page for your store, and encourage others to like it. Use the store fan page as your link to Facebook. Your store's Twitter should not contain anything personal/political, as this could offend potential customers! Make a Twitter dedicated solely to your business, with a separate email address. Tweet about things like trends in the industry, follow other chocolatiers and ask them to follow you too. Private Facebook and Twitter should be for friends and family only :)

You definitely don't need to hire someone to do SEO for you! Think about a time when you used Google or Bing, or any search engine. You thought up some words that you connected with the product or service, then typed them in and clicked search. Well, those words are exactly what search engine optimization is. Here is a great article from Shopify on the basics of SEO and getting your store noticed:

http://wiki.shopify.com/Search_Engine_Optimization_%28SEO%29_101

If you still need some more tips, call or email your Shopify Guru directly. He or she is there to assist you in making your store the best it can be :) I look forward to seeing some great news!

Yours in chocolately solidarity,

Stephanie

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February 11, 2013

Stephanie, I wanto thank you for your backup and interest in helping this age old newbie.  I want to follow thru with this suggestion from the both of you but shamedly admit I don't know how.  Is this something I can ask my guru to do for me?

Dave Lambert

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7
February 20, 2013

Hi, I have some suggestions:

First, your headings should be very specific "gluten free chocolate" or "kosher" chocolate to target your specific audience.  What are you doing for your customer?  Why should they buy from you?  Perhaps it is because you can "deliver the product to your door!"  Also, "buy now" might help on the photos......you need a call to action.  You might also consider a sample club.  Sign up for the club and get a sample delivery every month...perhaps you can find some members who will purchase on a regular basis?  Some thoughts and ideas.  I hope this helps.  Please check out my FB and follow me on twitter too.  I'll do the same :D

Cindy

give-itz.com

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February 21, 2013

Thanks again Cindy.  I plan on giving more effort to. My 2 niches. First I am going to have an SEO check to guide me, then site changes also to include video and niche promotion.

Have you heard of  fiverr.com?  If so can it be recommended?

ANd I will find your FB pg. to enter my comments plus a tweet for you on twitter.

Dave

Posts:
7
February 21, 2013

You need to set up a twitter account that is not your personal account...ditto for the Facebook page.

Also, SEO is a start, but you will need to connect "on the ground" too.  Send info to your target audiences, media releases, target journalists.  Even google uses direct (paper) mail and now they are opening "stores" to sell their own products.  Perhaps with diabetic chocolate, (for example), perhaps the diabetes association in your area can feature an article about your chocolate in their newsletter?  For Kosher, you might try a Jewish newspaper?

Good Luck with this,

Cindy

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21
February 21, 2013

Thanks, Cindy.

Dave

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February 27, 2013

Hi Dave,

First of all, I gotta agree with Stephanie: your chocolates look amazing!!! Man, the coconut clusters... whoo!

Well, I have to say I'm not a marketing expert, so the "informed" in "informed criticism" mightn't apply. But here goes:

You say you're getting hits, but no buys, so I guess the problem isn't one of getting ppl to check the site. I think it might be more the site itself (it's def not the chocolates, cause they're super tempting :). I think that when ppl think of chocolate, they think of "haute cuisine", high class, refinement, etc. Words and images that apply to royalty, wine and other expensive stuff (remember that Ferrero Rocher commercial from the 90's in a grand ballroom with rich, opulent deco? You can prob find it on Youtube). I mean, there's world-renowned chocolatiers in Europe, etc., so it's def something high-class, right? For that reason, I think your site needs to reflect all that "opulence". To me, the theme you have is good (I use it in my own store), but I don't think it's the right fit for the image you want to associate with chocolate. The fonts should be something like calligraphy/script/cursive-y, and I think the colour theme could be something like dark blue background with orange writing (there's actually a Cracked.com article about how movie directors have capitalized on the blue/orange colour theme). You know, it should look like a high-class invitation to a ball in the 17th century (if you know what I mean ;). Plus, I think the blue would contrast well with the hue of the chocolates.

Last thing: I think the scrolling banner on top on the homepage lacks a bit of "oomph". It looks like it was typed in Word and pasted up quickly, esp. the "Special Promotions" slide (sorry, I just wanna be as helpful as possible!). I think it should be more "high-class" looking. Maybe change the colours & font? (like how I mentioned for the theme).

 

I hope all this helps. And don't be discouraged! The creations themselves look super delectable!

 

 

Posts:
43
February 28, 2013

Hi David!

When I looked at your site, for a moment I thought it was an online product list for items purchased in person.

Include something simple like the blurb about shipping that Godiva has on the upper left corner of it's page (http://www.godiva.com/)

Also consider including a slogan about shipping with 24 hours or "see today, taste tomorrow" showing that you have an overnight shipping option.

Emphasize products shipped as gifts- eg the entire top nav for Godiva is about shipping gifts so that would be a good thing to emphasize

I agree with earlier suggestions about relentless groundwork.

Good luck! Your chocolates look yummy.

PS Add a picture to the about us section if you can ...

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21
February 28, 2013

Thank you Matt and thank you Ruthie.  All very good suggestions!  I will be hiring a designer if I can afford a good one.  If either of you have a recommendation I would greatly appreciate it.  ecommerce language is all Greek to me but I have to make this thing work.

Dave Lambert

Posts:
43
February 28, 2013

Dave, I'm not sure I agree that an opulent look is necessary.  I think that addressing shipping times and costs and putting that on the front page is something you can do yourself.

"Dave's Chocolates" doesn't need to look supper fancy- it's good, honest chocolate.  I like the plain speaking, frank approach your site has, so I don't think a designer is necessary at this point.

Add so gift info to the top navigation and emphasize shipping.  That's content you can add yourself.  Look for similar companies with the honest, staright forward messaging for style inspiration.

A jump to  Ferrero Rocher seems like a big leap, and not in keeping with your style.

Do I don't think you needs a designer, just a content tweak.  If you added a picture of yourself to the about us page and styled yourself in the lines of a Ben & Jerry type, I think that would be a big plus too.

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March 01, 2013

You could very well be correct Ruthie.  Somethings just need to stand out from the crowd.

Dave

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21
March 02, 2013

Matt,Ruthie, I'm getting hits but only in the double digits.  I think my site needs better, warm and friendly "buy now" text, better navigation and a "clincher marketing offer" like "buy today and get free shipping on orders over $78".  And emphasis on my 2 niches.

Dave

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