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Savvy Merchant Challenge Round 2 – BloomingBulb

Give us your best suggestion and you could win an iPad.

Today’s Hot Seat Merchant: BloomingBulb
Click here to open the Hot Seat Product Page in a new window.

We are giving away an iPad twice a week for the next month . Play along every Monday and Thursday for more chances to win.

How to Play:

  1. Take a look at the featured page.
  2. Think about what would make you more likely to purchase from this page.
  3. Submit your best suggestion as a comment at the bottom of this post.
  4. Take a look at what others are saying and feel free to discuss.

Spring is upon us and it’s time to start planting those Lily Asiatics!…. You and your green thumb have just landed on the page and what do you see? Are you immediatley engaged?

Some Questions to Help Get You Started:

  • Were you influenced by the GoDaddy.com security badge?
  • What did you notice about the way things are added to the cart? What did you/didn’t you like? What would you change?
  • What would make you most likely to purchase the item listed on the page?

We’ve divided the page into sections that you can reference in your suggestion:

Submit your ONE BEST suggestion using the comments below. If the Hot Seat Merchant thinks it’s the best, you’ll win an iPad!

This challenge ends Friday, April 20th at 5 PM (PST).

How can AspDotNetStorefront improve your product pages?
  • Get expert help! We’re now offering Product Page Reviews.
  • Smart Mini-Cart makes it easy for customers to track the items in their cart, keep an eye on their subtotal, and check out when they’re ready. All without taking them off the product page.
  • Page Layout Templates are easy to customize and instantly enhance your product display options, making browsing easier with added product page functionality.
  • McAfee Site Secure. The McAfee Trustmark is a proven way to boost shopper confidence and increase conversions.
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Posted in Contests, The Challenges | 51 Comments

51 Responses to Savvy Merchant Challenge Round 2 – BloomingBulb

  1. Jordan says:

    - Item Number, being rather unimportant to a shopper, should be omitted or toned-down. As it is, it’s cluttering up the item description.

  2. Jordan says:

    OK, this is a big one.

    Your site search has GREAT difficulty finding this product.

    None of the following search terms locate this item:

    asiatic lily
    jumbo lily
    lily mixed
    Lily Asiatic Jumbo Mixed

    The last search would be something I’d search for if I thought I knew EXACTLY what I was after. Still, no search results.

    There’s a chance I’d make it to this page by browsing your categories, or via an organic search, but the default search just isn’t working for you.

    Our 9.2 storefront had the same problems, and we switched to a Google Custom Search engine embedded into the site. Still not without its shortcomings, but it’s nice to at least be able to find products via search.

  3. pRoy says:

    This would be easy to have custom. I loved your Hardiness zone map/Zipcode. I think you would see tremendous benefit if the person could filter by Zone or a range of zones.

  4. Randi Tingle says:

    There is no easy way to go from this product page into the parent category that it’s from.

    If I get to this page from a Google search, I can’t view similar products in the item’s category. There should be a breadcrumb feature, current category link, or both.

    • Randi says:

      Weird! Now the site shows the category on the side bar. It wasn’t earlier!

      • You have discovered one of the usability quirks storefront. There is some code where your navigation or your breadcrumb are derived from the last category that is in your cookie. Therefore if you were to browse a category and then follow a direct link to a product in a completely different category the navigation would be out of sync with the product you are viewing.

        In your case you visited the page via the link from this blog, and there was no navigation history for you, so you did not have categories in the navigation pane.

        This is a form of mystery meat navigation.

  5. Kendra Kuhlman says:

    The best suggestion I can give the webpage would be to maximize your selling potential by showing related products in the body section. I feel you are losing out on other opportunites to sell related flowers, or products within the same page. You could put it as a “May We Suggest” or “Related Products” tab below the product description.

  6. Gus says:

    Grow your “expertise” perception – change “View Planting Instructions” to a more personal, icon linked approach – e.g. “Ask the Blooming Doctor” which links to a Lightbox or Shadowbox popup with instructions (so the user never leaves the cart page). Add small help icons to the right of product details that may cause confusion amongst novice/first time buyers – e.g. Hardiness Zone. Possibly clarify “Ship:” text with something like “Ship Season”. Add “Ships..” link with instructions for expedited and/or qualified shipping discounts.

  7. Cindy says:

    Section 3: Body-the picture quality could be better for more appeal, and I would suggest a different color font for the title of the product. It just seems bland and blends in too much with the rest of the page.
    Section 1: Header-Make the free gift with purchase ad more noticable-bigger and/or add it too the Body or Sidebar of the page where it is more likely to be seen. Everybody loves FREE stuff!

  8. BFG 9000 says:

    My guess is that this page actually converts quite well (at least between April & June) – You’re doing a lot very well.

    I think the Main issue with this page is that it’s not getting as much traffic as you’d like.

    It ranks very well for the term “Lily – Asiatic – Jumbo – Mixed” – but hardly anyone will search for that.

    I’d suggest renaming the product to something like “Asiatic Lily (Mixed, Jumbo)” – this will help you to rank higher for a search term like “Asiatic Lily” which has much more search traffic available.



  9. terry lewis says:

    There are a few small things here and there that could be made improve this page but the one thing that would increase my likelihood of buying would be to add the Guarantee to the Section 3: Body. You provide a 100% guarantee – be proud of that and show it on the product page with a nice big image icon.

  10. Ryan McGee says:

    Nice clean looking site…My one recommendation is to enlarge the search box. You can do this in numerous ways, most common would be to move it to the top center.

  11. Section 1: Header– While I like the location and shape of the top navigation bar (very eye catching, but not distracting), the text in the top navigation area is tiny, fuzzy and very hard to read. I’m using a fairly large monitor and the white text on the green background is very small and doesn’t contrast enough with the background. I would imagine that smaller monitors and mobile devices would hardly be able to read this important navigational element at all. The logo also seems artificially small and squished as well– the tag line is virtually unreadable. Is is as if it was so important to get everything above the fold that you just forced the entire header to be 25% smaller than the designer intended.

  12. Annelie says:

    The product page is visually appealing but there is one or two things that would improve the time spent on the page before making the vital decision to purchase or not.

    1. Put the planting instructions higher up. For me if I was purchasing a plant or flower this would be far more important than shipping costs.

    2. Make the zoomify view image work when rolling over the product. My pop up blocker blocked this when clicking.

    3.I would move to the search to the top right, I thought your site didn’t have one until I noticed it on the left.

    4.The shipping costs mentions free shipping. I would advertise this, and the free gift much more in the top menu.

    5.Increase the top menu links, they are too small to read.

    :) nice site all in all!

  13. Chad says:

    The page is simple and visually appealing. I would like to see a bread crumb trail inorder to go to a parent directory. Perhaps adding some suggestions of other flowers that would also have similar results in the same zone. The search is really a big deal. If you arrived to this site organically, but were unable to find more flowers that would convert a buyer to a shopper pretty quick I think.

  14. Casey says:

    Nice and clean, I like it.

    Take the H1 off of the item #. Use only one H1 per page. If item numbers are important for your business make it a H2. If it is not important make it bold. if the importance is somewhere in-between make it a lesser H.

  15. alec says:

    The checkout process is long and distracting. You can improve this!

    - Switch to a one-page checkout or at least minimize steps.
    - Hide the side category bar.
    - Each link on the page is a potential avenue for cart abandonment. Hide anything the doesn’t either get the customer further in the checkout process or reaffirms your credibility (shipping/return policies, site seal/verification, etc.)

    All in all, get the customer checking out before they decide to bail!

  16. Christopher Shetler says:

    I think having the site optimized for 800×600 resolution takes away from its design a bit. Additionally I believe the site would benefit from using the Mini-Cart leaving customers where they are at on the site to be able to navigate to the next item they are looking for. Most importantly your site not unlike mine would greatly benefit from a parametric search tool, whereby a customer could drill down to the items they are looking for by selecting check boxes to narrow down their search by planting season, bloom size, color, height, hardiness zone, etc. That would make this site awesome, (ok, more awesome)!

  17. fooster says:

    The biggest thing that I would change is the mobile version of the page. I browsed to the link from my iPhone and saw the mobile ‘friendly’ version of the page. Unfortunately if I landed on this page from a google search I would have been straight back to google. IMO I would disable your mobile site until you can do it justice- I think that it is the built in site that comes with ASPDNSF. Given that in my store I’m seeing close to 20% of site traffic coming from mobiles this should be your number one priority. The quick win would be to use the Vortx mobile plugin. In your business sector having an optimised mobile site will be a real boon. Check your analytics to see what is happening to your mobile traffic.

    The business sector that you operate in really needs a good looking and functional mobile site.

    • fooster says:

      Just seen that this is the Vortx plugin after browsing around. It really needs to be customised to reflect your site design and tell the story of what you do- through the design, logo and colours. I would still bail if I arrived at that page from a search query. The main image is way to small on the mobile version.

      ( this may be a duplicate post as I lost the first reply!)

  18. Rob says:

    When I visited the page my first thoughts were is this in stock and can I plant it now?

    So, if I had to suggest anything I would insert a stock level indicator and add to the hardiness zone some suggested dates for planting.

  19. Andrew says:

    BACKGROUND IMAGE! Your site is meant to sell bulbs to people who love to garden. Help them feel at home with a beautiful background image on your site. Take a look at this page to see what I mean (http://www.hewattdesign.com/).

    Can you imagine how different my site would look if the background were completely white?

    Design invokes emotion within your visitors and the right emotion leads to increased sales every time. Hope this helps.

    • Moroni Montoya says:

      I checked your site, suggest to optimize the background images, it took a while to fully load and display the beautiful background you so creatively selected and placed there to delight your visitors.

  20. Frank Thomas says:

    The social markers are spread over two areas that causes confusion. Move them to the left margin and use the space under “Email to a friend” to have an in-stock/out-of-stock notification

  21. Lee Newell says:

    Allow customers to leave product reviews. For such a visually appealing product allowing users to upload a photo with their review would create really good user generated content. This would really enhance the overall user experience of the website, improve conversion rates and SEO. SEO would benefit from additional content from the reviews and product pages would be more likely to gain natural links.

  22. It took me too long to see your free gift give away in Section 1: The Header. Your FREE gift is one of your strongest marketing tools, but it is rather hidden because of its size and location on the page. I would suggest enlarging your FREE gift offer, and brining it into Section 3: The Body. Then, it would be in the center of everything, and almost impossible to overlook.

    Very nice site, best of luck in the future.

  23. I think you are actually doing a really good job here. One thing I might add that might help conversion is a reviews section to the page. I know there is Bazzarvoice and other review products out there. I think Storefront has a feature built-in as well. We added Facebook Comments to our product pages and it’s been great to be included in some customer conversations and respond to any questions. Plus it has helped improve our conversion rate. Most importantly it’s free to use and easy to implement!

  24. Brad says:

    Lose the Godaddy logo, not only are they known for being cheap and shoddy, your eyes stop at the footer and you don’t even see it. Complete banner blindness.

    I see too many competing colors, banners, social media (twice)

    I get the “Green”, but white-space is more effective. I would drop the background colors, lighten everything up and use your color to drive focus. The product and the buy button.

    You don’t need “Shop online or call” I know I can shop online, ….I am online right now! as far as the phone number, I know what to do with those as well. ;)

    Out of all of the fonts being used, which are too many in my opinion, the smallest one and hardest one to read is the one on the buy button, the most important thing on the page.

  25. When I review ecommerce websites, I always put myself in the eye of a customer, and not a designer. It really all comes down to usability. If your site is very usable, it can have a terrible design but people will still buy from it. And your site is quite usable.

    As a potential customer the only query on this page to me would be the quantity and pricing. My first thought when I come to the page is what happens if I want to buy 30? You list prices and have a quantity box to enter a quantity, so I know I can enter my own value. Then if I put in 30 as a quantity and add to cart I get a warning box that it is only sold in multiples of 25 and then it automatically changes my quantity and takes me to the shopping cart. This is bad – by taking me straight to the check out you are making a decision for me.

    The easy solution which will improve the usability of this: simply state before the prices that it is only sold in quantities of 25. Then if someone enters a different number (say 30) your warning box should say something like “this only comes in multiples of 25, please update your quantity” and it should take them back to the page, not to the shopping cart.

    It’s a small thing but quite a big thing! You will be adding important information to the page and making the site more usable and not forcing a decision on the customer.


  26. My initial thoughts:
    1. The top header of the site needs to have more importance – the brand the logo – creating open space
    2. The site needs to be brighter – too dingy – the greens a little more saturated – crisper – cleaner –
    3. More negative space – just allow it to breathe more

    I like the flow of information and the way you have made that very clear -
    I would suggest adding a little more lifestyle approach – brighter clearer pics – just a little more fresh –

    Good Luck!

  27. Imir says:

    There could be a lot of ideas about design or SEO however I’m going to suggest two things about functionally. First one is Quantity / Each Price area can be editable drop down (Dropdown + Textbox) instead of text box. And also customer should see total price in this control too.

    I’m assuming if item is flower for shopping, customer generally don’t buy different items at the same time. So it’s going to be an item per order. And also our goal is getting customers to checkout pages easily and quickly. My second idea is about that. We can add another button near the add to cart button like “Add to Cart And Go” and if customer click this button, we can redirect them to createaccount.aspx?checkout=true&skipreg=true (for unregistered customers) or order confirmation page (for registered user). So we will be skipping 2-3 pages and let customer place an order very quickly.

  28. Arklee Wilson says:

    My first thought is the photo of the lillies is just like all the other ones I have seen. try a photo of the lillies in a natural planting so the full effect of their color and form are better represented.

  29. Sheri says:

    The site is predominantly clean and self-explanatory. My first thought is that I find the Go Daddy symbol distracting – it shouldn’t be the most eye-catching thing on the page. I would lose the animated Go Daddy symbol, increase my image quality / individuality on the product shot and add graphics of companion plants (with embedded links to their product detail pages) in order to capitalize on an upsell opportunity. Being a frequent purchaser of plants via websites, I am very driven by the suggested upsell, free offers and bogo opportunities. I may come for just one item but I generally leave with many more, (largely because I am a natural responder to the types of suggestions I’ve made here). Best of luck optimizing your site.

  30. tsmith says:

    Nice clean site which i feel comfortable shopping. I like that i can save 10% by giving you an email address. This page should list what payment methods i will be able to choose.

  31. tsmith says:

    Nice clean site which i feel comfortable shopping. I like that i can save 10% by giving you an email address. So, i added my email address, added the bulbs to the cart and went to the checkout page and it is not showing the 10% discount. I would probably leave now and not order. How do i get my discount? This page should list what payment methods i will be able to choose.

  32. Brad says:

    I guess another point that I forgot to mention earlier about the pricing:
    Quantity: Each Price
    25 $1.45
    100 $0.95
    500+ $0.74

    I am forced to make a huge assumption on how many I will get for what I am being charged. It looks like you are selling 25 bulbs for $1.45, 100 bulbs for $0.95, and 500 bulbs for $0.74.

    Is that each or packs pf 25 or what is the denomination. so If I buy 100 Bulbs am I paying 100 bulbs for $0.95 for all 100 or $0.95 for 4 packs of 25 or am I paying $0.95 each?

  33. Michael York says:

    There are many good suggestions. The ONE improvement I would suggest is to have a prominent “buy 25 now” button that is easy to read, located as close as possible to the item title and image and would take the customer directly to checkout for that item. The quantity to put on this “button” or link should be the most commonly sold quantity.

    I have found this technique can instantly improve conversions, especially among repeat buyers. This is easy to implement with just a few tweaks to the XML package for your product entity but may also be achieved in the markup for the product itself. In fact, it may even be feasible to dynamically generate a button from the most commonly sold quantity the product as retrieved from the database.

  34. Moroni Montoya says:

    Good day, I want to start by saying that English is not my native language, however I will try to express myself the best I possibly can. Congratulations for participating in this effort, it takes courage to open for feedback, courage to read it all without feeling a little uncomfortable, courage to take action upon it. Congratulations really.

    I believe that your target market age range is 25+, maybe even 35+; what I would do to make this site more attractive to the visitor and increase conversion rate is increase and standardize the font type/size across the top and left menu. Without my glasses on, the top menu blurs with the green background. Having “related” or “You may also like” products in the body section is a must nowadays, please add at least two or three in case Lily Asiatic Jumbo was not my initial choice, there will be something inviting me to keep looking at my fingertips. Your Logo and slogan doesn’t stand out, I would hardly remember your brand if I landed here via a search engine. Your containers have round corners, your banners, logo and search box don’t, I would invite you to stick with one choice. Flowers look different when you change its surroundings, please consider having more than one image with a different setting.

    Good luck with all the information you are getting, it will be for the best.

    Thank you

  35. Simon Gitahi says:

    I have a two suggestions. First as a new visitor to this page one would easily miss out on what you do. Its not clearly stated on the front page. Secondly if am visiting your website from a link to a particular product i will miss out on other products u do sell. My suggestion would be make the footer bigger with more information about yourself, what you do and what you provide then by visiting one page only i would know a lot about you because not most people visit the whole website but just a page or two and leave.

  36. Martin says:

    Personally I buy plants and particularly flowers with my eyes (and nose).

    I find that including only one photo a disappointment. My suggestion would be to include more photos with some of the images focusing on the plant and its specific, special or attractive features and some images that set the plant into a context or planting scheme. These images can then entice and excite me into making a purchase, and to make it now. They might even encourage me to get other plants illustrated in the planting scheme/content; raising the value of my order than might have otherwise been the case. Such things and emotions would also encourage me to visit again.

    As things stand I feel I would only buy if I had made up my mind that I was going to buy such plants prior to visiting this page/site. Therefore my decsion to buy from these guys would soley be upon price and delivery with little emotional connection for the purchase or with the vendor. Even if I did buy, my detached feeling don’t encourage me to visit them again.

  37. I love this website. It is colorful and easy to read and I love when you put your cursor over the shipping you can see it right away. The thing that I saw that was a little scary to me was the shipping time. It is a VERY wide span of time and I think customers are going to think twice about that. It shocked me when I saw it.

  38. I love the simplicity and usability of your site. It is easy to navigate and find the information you need. My recommendation is that you consider adding adding online chat. It gives your customers one more way to contact you. We are finding that our chat volume easily equals our call volume and it is so much easier for our agents to help customers on chat. You can also push links and better guide the customer while chatting rather than talking on the phone. As mentioned by a previous poster, you could use a chat button with an “Ask the Expert” type of thing.

  39. mmcgeachy says:

    I fully agree with others in trying to fix the breadcrumbs and/or adding them. One easy change I would suggest doing is cross link or add information about terminology to pages. For example the faq talks about the hardiness zone but it isn’t explained on any other page. In this case my 1st instinct was to Google what a hardiness zone was on instead of looking at the faq page.

  40. Jordan K says:

    My recommendation is to enlarge the whole site design to at least a width of 960. It looks too small and a little bit outdated. Personally I am less likely to buy from a site that looks outdated because I get the feeling that if the site isn’t even up-to-date as far as design standards, who’s to say the products are in stock, will be shipped on time or of any quality for that matter.

  41. Sean Godier says:

    Your ‘free gift with purchase’ is misleading. Once I click on it, I expected it to be the focal point of the landing page. It wasn’t. You took me to a page where you were trying to sell me more stuff. That’s problem #1.

    Problem #2: Tucked down to the right is a small ad that tells me that I get a free gift with every $50 order. Only you didn’t tell me that prior to clicking. If I want to order 25, I won’t reach the threshold for the free gift. I’d have to upgrade to 100, which is both a significant increase in total quantity and order price. Sure, I could buy something else, but navigation on the site isn’t that easy (and if I’m going to order something else to get the free gift, I want it to be something I REALLY want and can EASILY find), so I would bounce and go somewhere else–even if the price is lower at your site. Why?

    Because while all of the previous suggestions are great ways to improve your site from a customer’s perspective (and to increase your average order and conversions), they don’t take one thing into account: that you need the TRUST of your customers (and potential customers). You’ve already told me one thing that wasn’t true. And you hid the fact that it wasn’t true and tried to sell me more stuff. Why should I trust you?

    If you don’t have the trust of the shopper, you aren’t going to get them to buy. And even if you did get someone to take that leap, you’re going to have to be PERFECT in everything else (ordering process, shipping, followup, etc.) to make that customer a repeat buyer.

    Hope that helps!

  42. For the Body Section 3 If you could possibly make Lily – Asiatic – Jumbo – Mixed their own parent category breadcrumb so that Clicking lily sends customer to lily category, clicking asiatic takes custoemer to Asiatic category. Also, if there were a way to ask on the front page: “what Zone are you in?” and then to have the product page next to the hardiness zone say something like: “Compatible to your zone” or “Not compatible with your zone”

    If you could put a space between Botanical Name and descriptions, the page content won’t look as “busy”

    Add a Sun and maybe some grass to the logo to revamp it a little bit? Great easy to use website by the way.

    I would also put a small tagline above Gift Certificates something like – Give your favorite Grower the Gift of Life – Gift Certificates Available Now

    Finally, that Godaddy.com secured is sortof hanging on the bottom of the page…if you could maybe make it float in the lower left corner or lower right corner like the buysafe logo from aspdotnetstorefront.

  43. Ralph Balogh says:

    I like almost everything I saw, the one thing I would is the size of the header and the links. I had a very hard time reading them to see what they were. If I cannot read it in normal mode, I will never be able to decide to click on them. after adjusting my viewing up about 4 times it was then readable. But I should not have to do that

  44. Tammy says:

    Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone! This challenge is now closed to new entries. Check back on Monday to find out who won and to share your thoughts on the next site!

  45. Tammy says:

    Congratulations to Michael Randerson for the winning suggestion! Here’s what BloomingBulb’s Scott Squire had to say:

    “Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment on our product page! And thank you to AspDotNetStorefront for giving us the opportunity to gather so many useful ideas for our site. We were surprised to get so many suggestions and it was tough to choose a winner from so many great submissions.

    One comment stood out the most to everyone here and that was Michael Randerson’s suggestion to make our product package quantities more clear to the customer and not redirecting them into the shopping cart when they choose an invalid quantity. Congratulations Michael!

    BloomingBulb is going through a site redesign this summer so while we could only choose one winner, many of your suggestions are being considered for the new site. Thank you again to everyone who made comments!”

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