This is the latest installment from Amy Harrison’s web therapy series, where we review your website. This month Amy is looks at a website owned by Caroline Jones, www.wrappedinyourownwords.com which sells personalised chocolate wrappers. The advice that Amy shares is useful for any website, so why not take a look at what she has to say and see if it applies to your website.
Show off your personality and stand out
If you offer the same service as other companies, showing off your personality makes your business stand out. Wrappedinyourownwords.com takes advantage of this and is a charming expression of the characters behind the business.
Caroline and Davina include a home-made video on the home page which tells you how to use the site. As well as a way of promoting new offers and communicating with customers, it is an excellent way to convey the personal nature of the service.
Communicate the unique strengths of your business
Whilst it’s easy to understand in seconds what wrappedinyourownwords.com offers, the content on the site could be used more effectively to highlight what is special about the service compared to the competition.
The opening points on the homepage currently state:
Are you looking for:
Something that is different
A fun way to communicate your message
Something that creates an impact
A way to show that you care
As one of the first areas your customers will glance at when your web-page loads, this valuable space could be used to explain what sets the service apart, for example:
Are you looking for:
A uniquely designed gift solution?
A delicious way to woo your customers?
A friendly and personal service?
A memorable way to market your business?
These phrases will depend on who your ideal customer is. To communicate effectively and encourage sales of your product, it’s important to know what people are looking for when they visit your site, and what kind of features and benefits will appeal to them. Building a customer profile is an excellent way of pinning this down.
Blow your own trumpet (indirectly)
Many business owners feel uncomfortable at the idea of shouting about how great they are, but letting your customers know that your service or product has pleased others isn’t a bad thing. It’s useful information for the customer and essential marketing for your business.
Currently the testimonials on the site are under the “Over To You” tab. I would consider changing the name of this to “Testimonials” or “Happy Customers”, to make it more obvious and consider including one or two quotations on the home page.
Press coverage is also valuable and something to be proud of. Currently the “Press” button doesn’t take you directly to your publicity so I would look at making this easier so people can find out who has been talking about your product!
Don’t be shy – if you’re offering a good service then you need to let people know about it!
If you’ve got a killer offer – make it clear
If you’re offering a discount, bonus product or some other extra that might encourage people to place an order, then make sure it’s easy to understand, and easy to take advantage of.
The offer of “4 free bars” when ordering 8 could do with a little tweaking to the content to make it absolutely clear what’s on offer and how people can get it.
Initially I wasn’t certain if the four bars had to be used when placing an initial order, or could be claimed at a later date. Whilst this might not seem like a big thing, when a customer sees your offer you want them to think about how great it is, and not whether they understand it.
Keep it simple to browse
With busy lives and short attention spans, the easier it is for your customer to use your site, the more likely they are to buy.
The site has useful functions like a search facility, a send to a friend option, as well as social media tools, but from a design point of view I would want to keep these together to make it cleaner and easier to use. There is a floating category for “Christmas Bits” which isn’t with the rest of the chocolate wrapper categories and rather than standing out it looks a little forgotten.
I wasn’t a fan of the automatic sound bites which are played when you click on a category although the music for “Corporate” did make me laugh – very Alan Sugar! If you have people browsing on public use computers, or in their lunch break at work, they may not want sound being played for others to hear (especially if they’re buying it as a surprise for someone!)
Make it easy to buy
I would strongly recommend having a form of direct online order form where customers have the option to place their order and pay online in one transaction. These are easy to set up and don’t have to be expensive to run. If customers can only place their order via a contact form to be contacted back, or by placing an order over the phone, it may deter them when other competitors offer direct online ordering.
Overall I think this is a good basis for a small business website and it wouldn’t take a lot to tidy it up, streamline the process and make it more professional without losing its charming and personal touch.
If you would like your website to be reviewed, please send Amy an email and she will let you know if we are able to review it for you.
About the Author: Amy Harrison. After training as a screenwriter, Amy moved into the world of online business and since 2004 has worked on small to large enterprises both here in the UK and Canada. Amy left her job in online business development in 2008 to go it alone and now offers a copywriting and project management service. Amy will be offering practical hints and tips about maintaining and promoting your business website in our series of articles: “Web Therapy”. We hope you enjoy it and look forward to hearing about your own website experiences! www.harrisonamy.com