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Thread: Candidates Selected for Web Site Makeovers!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002

    Post Candidates Selected for Web Site Makeovers!

    Attention Small Business Owners: is beginning a new interactive series on e-commerce site makeovers and were looking for a few brave store owners/managers willing to participate.

    Essentially well be selecting an e-commerce storefront for reader critique (design, functionality, navigation, etc.) and all valid comments will be submitted to several Web site designers/solutions providers for implementation in a site makeover.

    The only requirements are that you own and operate a small business e-commerce site and would be willing to have it openly critiqued by ECommerce-Guide.coms readers and editors.

    If youre interested, please contact me, Laura Rush, Managing Editor at and provide the following information:

    Your name/title
    Name of business
    Type of business
    Details on how the site was created (your own design or out-of-box solution template, for example)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002

    E-Commerce Sites Selected for Make-over Series

    A few weeks ago, launched an interactive series called E-commerce Makeovers and we went in search of a few brave store owners/managers who were willing to offer their site for evaluation.

    Our panel of five judges (editors from Jupitermedias Small Business Channel) painstakingly reviewed the many entries we received over the past few weeks and weve come up with our short list of potential candidates.

    Now were asking for your input on selecting which e-commerce storefront is in most need of a makeover.

    Heres our list of candidates: please take some time to visit these sites and feel free to critique one or all of them on design, functionality, navigation and whether you think the site is a valid business model in other words, this site has the potential to be successful.

    All valid comments and feedback will be submitted to our site designer Brad Nickel and his team of experts at, who will implement the site makeover. (You can post your comments right here on this thread.) Mail order contact lens business.
    Editors feedback: Site is clean and organized, but almost too sterile. Looks too much like a corporate site. Unique gem and jewelry store.
    Editors feedback: Site has potential but navigation is difficult and cumbersome. Site functions too much like a paper catalog. Sports trading cards.
    Editors feedback: Although the site boasts a large database of cards there are virtually no photos or images of the products for sale. Site could use a little color and pop. Felt toys and games for sales to elementary school teachers, and parents of young kids.
    Editors feedback: Site is way too busy and disorganized. Too many colors and quite distracting. Softball gear and clothing.
    Editors feedback: Very text heavy and hard to read.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Tempe, Arizona

    My vote for makeover is screaming for a makeover! And the sooner the better!!


    Mark Merkow

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Oceano, CA
    5 gets my vote. All the other sites are usable if annoying in some way. I don't think this site can be used to sell which is its purpose, I assume. Help these guys - they are burning $$ with little hope of results.

    Kathy Cannon
    KC Enterprises
    Internet Marketing
    Websites that work!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    PLEASE,help this guy. JBDylan was trying to go for a
    "expensive" look to attract customers with money but his site is so SLOW, and the jpg are truly high quality but could be made smaller to load much more quickly. Also they were very conservative with the scroll button but a few more images(10 or more) per page would give the eye more to look at before you have to endure the long wait to load to the next page. Perhaps a group of thumbnails representing different catagories would speed up the selection process. I never got through the whole site, it was too boring and slow. So I have no idea what his abandonment rate would be, but I would be afraid to look. Mr. Wonderful, Ronn Troxel.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Well, the contest does not seem very fair since, in my opinion, looks quite bad! But should that only determine that they are the winners???

    More feedback:

    *** Unique gem and jewelry store. (Best overall site)
    * Good -
    Great images, nice layout, most pages compatible with different screen resolutions (see an example of one that does not -, well presented, phone number and customer-centric sentance appearing on every page ("Need help? Have a Question? Call us at 1.800.211.8061 or send us email at"), good customer service section.
    * Needs improvement -
    search engine optimization, logo and slogan, better copy that explains customer benefit (why should I buy here and not in the hundreds of other places?)

    *** Sports trading cards.
    * Good -
    Lots of info.
    * Needs improvement -
    Needs a complete redesign as far as visual presentation. Needs to be more simple - especially if you take into account the target audiences such as kids.

    *** Felt toys and games for sales to elementary school teachers, and parents of young kids.
    * Good -
    search engine friendly, Colorful + theme and image in line with the target audience. Some (not all) copy is good. Last - its helpful that they present their phone number up top (provides reliability).
    * Needs improvement -
    site layout (should fit into screen better for different resolutions since I need to use my horizontal scroll to view it), navigation bar on left needs to be redesigned, font is too large.

    *** Softball gear and clothing.
    * Good - Yahoo! customer service seal is great!!!
    * Needs improvement - design and mainly those darn colors make it look like a kid's website, not one of a business.

    I have not provided all the feedback and repeated, in some ways, what others have said. Still, after 6 years of heavy experience with Web users, QA of websites, website design, copywriting and search engine marketing, this is what I can contribute. Hope that helps.

    Btw - I don't think its fair to comment too much about their business model since the website owners know a lot more about their business than us. But - that is not what you can say about website navigation and the customer online experience, where the people speak out rather than the owners.

    Last, I would recommend the moderators of this forum to "sniff" for "participants" that are actually bias...

    Itai Levitan
    Website Marketing Consultant
    Melbourne, Australia

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Westlake Village, California

    e-commerce pet peeves &

    When I am surfing and shopping or just trying to find info, I avoid sites with black backgrounds or any other hard-to-see color schemes. I also avoid SLOW sites. I use only dial-up and I don't have time for slow sites. Finally, if I get lost on your website more than once, I go to another site! Any site that is difficult to navigate without a compass & sextant, is waisting my time.

    I like sites such as - not spectacular artistically, but tops in navigations and speed. I have never had problems with I wish more sites were like them.

    Thanks for letting me "share"!

    This is a great subject and I look forward to reading the other postings.
    Jane in California
    (no jokes about governor's race....)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Hi Jane,

    I think you really hit the right points about what MOST sites should be like.

    Some website owners that I have met put too much emphasis (budget, time, etc.) on 'visual' and not enough on usability (as you mentioned) as well as COPY & MARKETING.


    > (no jokes about governor's race....)

    Itai (coming soon)

  9. #9
    I looked at all sites and I definitely think that looks the worst. It is also loads slowly. I found the pictures for I actually thought this was a good site for 10 yr. olds and up.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Reigate, England

    Web Site Business Models

    I think it is valuable to look at the business models which each employ from an external perspective, after all, it is the punters who determine whether a site is useful not the business owners. It is also interesting to look from the perspective of 'the other side of the pond'. - Sounds like a great idea (but I don't use contacts). Main focus is on cost, but I wonder whether this is the main criteria for contacts? I would think ensuring the health of my eyes would be top of my list and be wary of trusting an unseen website. So I think the pages need to address this issue up front and throughout their design. - selling quality goods is always difficult if you can't sense the quality. Stores put lots of lighting onto jewellry to make it shine. This site needs a way to achive this end or customers will think it is not good value and look elsewhere. - I'm assuming this site will appeal to a particular specialist collector of football cards (i.e. a niche market) rather than the general populace). If so, then the search capability is all important, perhaps with some community features to keep people coming back. Even on broadband I found the search really slow and tiresome so went elsewhere without even finding out what a football card was. - this site is trying to sell one of the most low tech presentation tools via a high tech medium, and I'm not sure the two work together. It needs to show that felt is great for kids brought up on computer games if it is to really take off (say with some flash examples of building up a felt scene through a story). If you love felt will you look online, if you don't love felt will this convince you otherwise? - I wasn't clear whether the target was individuals or teams for this site. It is VERY busy. I'm assuming sports stores across the US sell this kind of stuff and was wondering what was unique about it.

    In conclusion, looking from the perspective of which site will gain the most from a makeover, I think that JBDylan should get the vote.

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