Originally Posted by trotter
I also put recipes on there, because it looked like a lot of people search for dog treat recipes.
Writing articles, blogging, emailing are not a skill of mine. I have always been terrible at this kind of thing. I would like to just get orders and fill them. Should I forget having an ecommerce website?
I don't have a mailing list, except for the ones I collected at craft shows and from the few people who ordered from my website. I didn't like the free ones I tried and couldn't justify the expense yet.
Wish I could do actual shipping charges based on weight and zip code, but I don't think paypal will let me. Was going to get a merchant accout, but not getting any orders so I never have. Is paypal ok to use or would you all recommend a different shopping cart?
I agree that you should not put recipes for your products on the site, unless you've chosen a specific recipe to give away in exchange for signing up on your mailing list.
Don't think of what you pay for a mailing list as an expense. It's an investment in your business. Without that list, how are you going to keep in touch with the people who have purchased from, or who are interested in what you have, but aren't ready to purchase yet? Your mailing list is a tool that you use to reach out and remind your visitors that you exist and to invite them back to your site, give them a reason to return. An alternative to this is to install a weblog with an RSS feed that people can subscribe to. I recommend both, because you're going to have people who are overloaded by email that don't want to join mailing lists -- and people who have never heard of RSS and wouldn't know what to do with an RSS feed if it bit them.
You don't have to write all your articles yourself. You can hire ghostwriters to do this, you can purchase Private Label Rights articles or use free reprint articles. And if you want, there are courses out there that can teach you how to write articles, if you want to learn.
I agree with the general consensus that you should build your shipping charges into your product pricing. But if you choose not to, Mals shopping cart offers real-time shipping calculators in their premium version.
Originally Posted by Jenlaana
Marketing is really important, but its hard to know if people were seeing your site and then put off by the way it was set up, or not seeing it at all. Best to get a good presentation together and THEN ramp up marketing.
I agree that finding out what your target market is thinking is hard. I recommend that you find out who your target market is and where they are, then ask them -- much like you've done here. You can also put an exit popup on your website, asking people why they have left the website. (I know, you hate popups. This wouldn't be a permanent fixture -- just a temporary tool to find out what people are thinking.)
Originally Posted by cchrissyy
Adsense has no business on a retail site. What you could do, if you were into articles or blogging, is an adsense blog that just happens to sell a single product on the side. But that business model is only for if you can write well, and lots. If you just want to sell, you don't need the articles and adsense isn't going to do well for you anyway, it'll just push away your customers. (though that won't excuse you from writing good descriptions for the search engines and customers)
I don't agree that that adsense has no business on a retail site. I do agree that you wouldn't want to put it on the pages where you are selling your products. Adsense would go well on a blog section of the site. You don't have to be a traditionally good writer. You have to reach out and touch your target market with your writing and you have to write about stuff that makes their lives better within the context of your niche.
The articles and blog are not on your site for the purpose of selling. People use the Internet primarily to search for information. People are searching for information related to your industry, and you want to give it to them. This will generate traffic (via search engines and your readers posting links to your great content) and repeat visitors. People who return to your site for great information, that shows you are an expert in your field, or who arrive on your site on the recommendation of a friend, are more likely to buy your product than someone who has never been to your site.
There are four stages to the buying process. You can reach out to people in all phases of the buying process, not just the stage where they are ready to buy. (And chances are, if people in the buying stage haven't heard about you in one of the other stages, they aren't going to buy from you.)