On my past time over a month ago, I began digging into Shopify designs, stores, concepts, existing reviews, and so on. I've given critiques for some stores listed here, but I took on a side project with an old school friend who was attempting to run a Shopify store for her skincare products. In short, the website was extremely minimal, basic, and lacking various necessary navigation features and pages, ie only the home page as well as a products tab for the header and footer, little product details and descriptions, no setup for subscribing customers, and so on.
Since taking on the project at the beginning of November, I've developed the Shopify theme (currently on Debut due to cost factors, but you work with what you have some days.) I'm a novice at HTML/CSS/JS, but I'm learning as I go as well. Picking apart other websites, getting ideas for new features to self-research and implement. I'd say after this month of development, we're close to an ideal store page, to begin with. I'd say we're as close to a Beta profile as we can with this setup. As with such, we're looking for additional feedback to shape up the final build for its official run time uses.
Currently, we have a couple of pages in the works, such as the Ingredients page (needs the body butter ingredients), and a "How Its Made" section giving a brief walkthrough of the product creation process. Most of the product descriptions are finalized, but some require touch-ups for uniformity. The sets themselves have just been created recently, so the product page is a little bare-bones otherwise so far but these too are being developed over time. That's about it for the functionality side of things so far.
I'm also working on various aesthetic features throughout the website, such as header transitions, link transitions, and so on but this will come over time later after the final production information and pages are developed.
What I'm asking for
Given that we're pretty much at our Beta phase of the website, I'm looking to see what others have to say about the website. Any feedback, big, small, or just even quips are welcome!
- Take a look around at any of the page contents and details
- Suggest what would look good based on the layout
- Some pages are just text as well and I'm looking for ideas on what to add here and there as borders and formatting will only do so much for retention
- Any insight into what pages should be added, or redesigned as well
- Themeing direction – does it look good or should it be different styles?
- Anything else you can think of to add
About the store
Quaint Boutique is located in Southern New Jersey and is a startup shop. All of the products for sale are currently hand made and will be incorporating other processes later on as sales increase. In-person sales do significantly better, but this is all based on location. Currently, the physical sale shop is in a non-ideal location setting (the wrong target market entirely in a nutshell), but this is due to the limitations of the shop owner's current environment for POS.
- Sales at physical events (tradeshows, festivals, markets, etc) can clear out product inventory and has done so in the past (Inventory is on average around 50+ products due to small batching.)
- Online sales have generated about 20 unique sales since 2018.
Since the beginning of development, the website has had its highest view count of all time, as to present knowledge the shop was up and running since 2018. The capture of traffic the store had was around 350 organic visitors, advertising only brought in roughly 50 users, but paid advertising was only done once. This is the only month that 2 sales were made during the month as well (2 conversions over 1 month, up from 1 or 0 conversions per month before, not bad?)
The store has an IG and FB store account as well, but the IG account has the most followers (approx. 3,900 users). The FB store has 10x less at around 300 users but generates the most traffic. All followers are organic. Most of the paid advertising goes through IG at this time.
Marketing is planned to be established throughout the next quarter, with IG being the primary as usual, FB being secondary as phase 1. Budget limitations at this time will complicate the available reach and target range, but we're estimating at least $300 per month to begin with should be supplemental for conversion cross overs. In addition to this, social influencing is likely our route as well as our research shows strong boosts for social influence through skincare products. So far, we're currently in private talks with small influencers to review and test the product themselves. The current goal is to achieve at least 1 sale a day, but likely this is going to occur within the first 6 months of operations unless conversions turn out better than expected.
Noting above how sales spike at tradeshows and other events, there was no official link back or customer capture during these events at the time. Due to the Covid epidemic, it has also back-ended this entire event until normality resumes. It's planned to restart these events, as well as advertise the website at these events to generate recurring customers, as well as capturing lifetime customers through subscriptions, and event-only promotions. Also in the works, as life restarts to normality is to do demos to local salons for increased POS range via vendor-selling the product to local shops. Eventually spanning further beyond as sales increase.
Known issues on the website
- The "How its made" section is currently blank but will have updated content imported soon
- The ingredients page is missing ingredients for the Body Butter products
- Product images are not uniform and may shift the alignment on various pages, planning to resize these to one uniform size template
- If you have a recommendation for a suggested photo resolution size (width in pixels x height in pixels), feel free to suggest it!
- Limited CSS applied to the website, mostly standard transitions and load pages
- Any recommendations of what to add are helpful for my direction as well and strongly appreciated!
- Popup email subscription shown at the beginning is generic, working on the next campaign to replace this but is there to capture any subscribers if possible.
- Some of the layouts are not set in stone and may shift awkwardly based on screen sizes or stick to columns due to unconfigured layouts (more coding for some of this)
- Some product pages are not uniform in the description template
- Shipping is defaulted to a base price of 8.99 around the US, planning to shift this to "by-weighted average" to help reduce the cost for lower-weighted order counts as well as adjust the pricing for longer-distance shipments (Alaska for example).
- The rewards points system has limited visibility throughout the website, primarily shows up on the popup display on the bottom right (if logged in), and inside the customer account page (if logged in). Planning to add this to the header for consistent visibility.
I'm an entrepreneur who likes to learn during my free time. I take on a lot of side work and projects in order to maintain myself, but also to learn more about business in general. I have an associates degree in Computer Networking, which helped me establish a role as "Network Director" for 3 years at my old job in NJ, but I left to move on to a startup in Canada, which primarily occupies my time to this day. I've self-learned most of my knowledge and career skills, and try to professionally apply what I know day in and day out. All of the HTML, CSS, and JS I've added to the website (albeit not a whole lot) came from self-learning as well.
Thanks for taking the time to read, and looking forward to your feedback!