By March 1, 2013 Read More →

Website development – Kirsten Hendrich, jeweller

Kirsten shares more do’s and don’t’s for your website

Work from Home Wisdom - selling online, Kirsten HendrichKirsten Hendrich designs and makes beautiful silver jewellery, and her recent interview here on the blog is packed with valuable information about selling online and has been getting plenty of appreciation on Twitter. Today Kirsten is back to share more tips on choosing and developing a website.

Hello again, Kirsten, how can you tell the customer experience of your website is a good one?
I’ve used customer surveys recently which are easy to input into specific pages of your website. They ask questions such as what can we do to improve this page? If you are not considering making a purchase, what has put you off?

This can provide great feedback as it’s unlikely that a customer will email me to tell me what their opinion is.

I also invested in some user testing; you set a user tester some different tasks to complete on your website while filming their screen and talking as they complete the task.

The task could be anything from finding a specific product and adding it to the cart or finding out the delivery information. I also ask my Social Media fans their opinion.

Google Analytics is also a great way to analyze what is happening. You can see what specific pages are the most popular, where your visitors are coming from, and what country they are based in etc.

You know that if many visitors are looking at their cart, but none are actually making a purchase, there could be a fault or something which is putting customers off, and it’s time to investigate.

Is there anything a home business should beware of when choosing a web designer, SEO specialists, marketing agencies etc?
When setting up you will probably get cold callers and emails from all sorts of SEO agencies and website designers claiming to be the perfect solution. In my experience, the best are so busy due to their good reputation that they don’t need to send out spammy emails!

If your budget is low like mine, it’s always best to ask around. I was lucky enough to know a website developer, and I designed my website myself within Photoshop.

When I was stuck for a photographer, I mentioned it to a friend and she knew photographer Daniel Buxton, who is great at jewellery photography. So start by asking around to see if there is any hidden talent amongst your friends.

If your friends are only beginners, it might not be the best route to take so get a wide range of quotes. You must aim high so customers trust your website enough to make a purchase.

I would shop around, and check out a website developer’s work to see if their style is what I’m aiming for. I would also ask how quickly they can repair future website faults, and what their follow up customer care is like.

If you have a fault on your site, you want it fixed immediately, as faults can lead to loss of profit. And it’s good to meet in person to see if they’re the type of person you can work with.

Work from Home Wisdom - Kirsten Hendrich, website developmentDid you make any mistakes you’d like to make other home business owners aware of?
My worst recent mistake was updating my ‘Add to basket’ button and then not getting a user tester to check all was well. The button itself had stopped working so customers couldn’t add products to their cart.

I usually check the site thoroughly after updates because an update can damage a part of the site due to broken code etc. But this time I was busier than usual and only noticed the error a couple of days later – it cost me potential orders and could have made a bad first impression to first time customers.

My first mistake when setting up online was to accept a design I didn’t feel represented my brand. I was never happy with it and I should have told the designer what I was after, rather than letting him decide.

I was younger, unsure of what I wanted and let others make vital decisions due to my shyness. Always trust your gut instinct, and if something isn’t right, don’t accept it.

How are you planning to develop your site?
I have lots of work still to do, and I never see my site as being complete. You have to evolve to stay relevant, whether it’s a newly designed homepage to keep things fresh, or cart updates, new products, or new colour schemes.

However it’s also important to make informed website changes rather than randomly guess. Changing your colour scheme and designs too regularly can alienate customers and cause brand confusion. Changes should only be made after research, surveys, user tests and analysis.

See for yourself the latest stage of Kirsten’s site and browse her collections, which include handmade chains, pieces inspired by molten lava and a collection for brides.

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