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Savvy Merchant Challenge Round 5- Portland Compressor

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

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

We are giving away an iPad twice a week. 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.

Picture this: You’re a 17 year old teenager who has just been recruited to paint Grandma’s garden fence over Spring Break Vacation and you have OTHER plans. But you can’t let your granny paint in the 104 degree Phoenix sun at her age! You’ll do it but you need to find the right tool to get it done right and get is done fast. You need a Graco TrueCoat Pro Cordless, Airless Paint Sprayer and fast!

You have just landed on the page and what do you see? Are you immediately engaged?

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 Tuesday, May 1st at 5 PM (PST).


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Posted in Contests, The Challenges | 38 Comments

38 Responses to Savvy Merchant Challenge Round 5- Portland Compressor

  1. Lee Newell says:

    The free delivery logo is a bit ambiguous. Displaying that delivery is free needs to be much clearer. At present the user could easily miss this, needing to rollover over the 48 state icon to see this. Clearly displaying free delivery next to the price would be more prominent.

  2. Kendra Kuhlman says:

    The product description is too long and takes up too much room. Most of the description should be above the fold (or where you need to start scrolling at the bottom on the page). Your description may need to be longer because of the technical details of the product but it still seems a bit too much to read (especially if it’s a 17 year old with no patience).

  3. Hayley Deacon says:

    Upon clicking add to cart I initial didn’t realize that the product had been successfully added. A bold confirmation notice that the product has been successfully added will enhance the user’s experience. The item does appear in the shopping cart on the left hand side however this
    blends in with the navigation menus and would be more visible on the right hand side of the page.

  4. BFG 9000 says:

    “You need a Graco TrueCoat Pro Cordless, Airless Paint Sprayer and fast!”

    If I need it fast – & I’ve landed on this page – I’m not sure if I actually can get it fast – there’s nothing about delivery times on the page.

    After clicking around a little I find that to get it to Phoenix will take 3 days in transit alone – & it looks like another 2 days to ‘process my order’ – I’m already a little disheartened & may start to look around.

    If you actually can get it to me in less than the week that it seems to take – you should make this very clear to me on the product page.

    I also read that items may take even longer if they’re not in stock – I couldn’t see anything on the product page telling me that this item IS in stock – so I’m left with three choices :-

    1. Order & hope for the best.
    2. Try to find your contact details (they’re not visible on the page) & ask you if it’s in stock & when I can get it.
    3. Shop around & find it elsewhere…

    I don’t think I’d go for the first option, the second will take effort that you shouldn’t really inflict upon the customer, so the third option is probably what will happen.

    To summarise – make the proposition very clear on the product page – what, how much, when, stock all are very important.



  5. Jennifer says:

    The space to the right of the product seems like waste space. There should be short key bullet points about the product for those who do not have the time to read all the detail below. There should also then be a note saying more info below for those that want to read further so they know that information is there.

  6. fooster says:

    I would try and utilise some of the white space to the right of the add to cart buttons. I would put some key sales points in bullet form highliting the top 3-4 benefits.

    It might be an idea to help your site visitors by organising a lot of the descriptive text into a tabbed interface.

    Incidentally I would really reduce the content in your home page by trimming down the spec text for each of your featured products. This is not a great sales tactic that will draw customers in IMO.

  7. Justin Williams says:

    It would be really helpful to customers if you set a defined width for the page. Currently it is set to stretch 100% of my screen resolution and the product information sort of goes all over the place. Great info but it would be much more helpful if it were displayed in a uniform fashion. Thanks!

  8. Sean Godier says:

    As soon as the page loads, my eyes went directly to the stuff on the right–”Free 48″ and the other two promotions. I didn’t even glance at the product. Immediately, I started hovering over (and clicking) on those links to see what they were.

    I’d move those under the product and highlight the fact that the product might have a promotion to save me the customer money. That will allow the eyes of the customer to go where you want–the PRODUCT! :)

    Good luck!

  9. Meggie says:

    Customers are like infants: They are facinated by imagery and color, and they lose focus quickly and easily. Make it SIMPLE. Fewer and bolder words. For an item like this, you’re mostly going to get customers who know they want to buy–so focus on the important things: It’s on sale! (And it’s benefits)

    Also, it’s a bit aesthetically unbalanced. Large areas of color or text need to be offset by an equally substantial image or text block.

  10. Neha D says:

    -When I click on free shipping (Map that says 48): it takes me to a separate page (Offsite) that is annoying and should be changed.
    -Best Sellers is listed on the top right corner and should be highlighted with customer reviews. A customers opinion/experience weighs more than what the company says about their product. Also best sellers should have images with prices instead of links
    -I noticed a “how to shop” link. That is odd, if the customer is not able to navigate the website seamlessly they will not make a buying decision, and no one has the time to read pages of instructions on how to shop!
    -Some pages don’t have images. That does not instill any confidence in me. Looks like the site is not maintained or not completed.
    -The product features are spread out over half a page, they should be more compressed with tabs that one can click and read the information. Adding competitive intelligence would also help, like a “compare price button”

  11. When you click into the “Our Products” hyper-link it takes you to the “Browse By Catagory.” You should have a drop down on each catagory page that gives you the option to shop by price (highest to lowest), and/or shop by Brand. When I look for an item, I look for those two things to quickly find what I can afford and/or what brand I like.

    Also, most consumers make their decisions based on simple quick info. If they like what they see they will dig a little deeper into the description, specs, and reviews. I would have a few main bullet points on the front page of the product and have tabs with a box at the bottom with those three extras.(Description, specs, and reviews.)

  12. I’m not really a big fan of the table to show the Features and Benefits. It is kind of wordy, so maybe bullet points with pop-up windows and featuring it up higher to really help at the Point-of-Purchase.

    Also with the Included with Purchase items, having them up higher by the product itself and having them bulleted with check marks allow the customer to feel they are getting more than just a sprayer.

    Maybe taking away the MSRP price as well, since you already have the Regular price which is the same.

    I like the Compare TrueCoat airless sprayers option, but maybe open it in another window so you don’t take the customer away from the product page. They can then analyze the options of sprayers while still on the product they first landed on.

    I feel like your home page should have more information and content. This gives you a way to differentiate yourselves and speak about specific value-added items and offerings.

  13. Michael says:

    Too much whitespace in Section 3.
    If you are going to use a fluid layout then you should maximize what is above the fold, right now when I land it is dominated by a small image and I have to scroll down to get past bullet three of the “advantages” let alone read the Features and Benefits.

    The whitespace on the right is a big loss as well, organzie the shipping and catalog to move higher to the right.

    The social networking icons are really small and lost in the upper corner.

    The Green color for the Add to Cart is almost painful on the eyes.

    Section 2 and Section 1 are very neat in layout and flow pretty well. I would bump up the font size a px or two but it is still readable.

  14. The promotions like free 48 shipping and Graco Buy 1 get 2nd for $140 are not bold enough. They don’t get my attention. Choose a layout which highlights your promotions/sales better.

  15. Tom Cox says:

    Is “ProSpray Technologu” an industry term or a misspelling? I’m always leery of giving my payment details to sites with any sort of obvious mistakes.

    At first I liked the Free 48 logo until it took me away from the product page. Better to just say “free shipping in the continental US”.

    I noticed the item added to the cart when I pressed the add to cart button but it was pretty subtle.

    Usually a lot of white space is good, but there seems to be a bit too much. Maybe center the main product info rather than have it way over on the left.

    For a hand-held sprayer one of my questions is “how much does it weigh?” (with and without paint).

    And finally, is it in stock?

  16. Jordan says:

    I had to hunt around for the CHECKOUT button.

    I ignored the cart in the left bar as that’s traditionally where navigation and info elements are located. An inexperienced shopper might not even know items were being added to their cart as there is simply a brief screen redraw and a tiny element updated on the page.

    It would make sense to put a CHECKOUT link right next to the cart total in the upper right hand area, and style it to make it larger and more visible.

  17. Sheri says:

    I would work on the verbiage.

    Describe the product and what it can accomplish in plain language. If a customer can’t quickly figure out whether or not the product is going to meet their needs, they will abandon the site and move on to one with clearer information.

    Make sure all words are spelled correctly, especially commonly used words such as “technology” and “tough.” Spelling errors in an ad or in the body of a web page can negatively impact a customer’s confidence in the company, products, goods or services that are presented.

    These suggestions may seem trivial but could make a big difference in your bounce rate.

  18. Gus says:

    On your category Links, ensure you craft some verbiage that is SEO (Seach Engine Optimization) conscious – perform analysis on Google keyword popularity you can utilize to increase search engine results. Change the category and manufacturer page URLs to utilize ASPDotNetStoreFront’s URL Rewrite feature to help achieve ultimate results, cleaning up your URL along with keyword rich 150-200 word paragraphs. Ensure you enumerate verbiage about the manufacturer and their product specs often search by customers on Google. On the category page or any other that display products, implement a lightbox/shadowbox feature which pops-up the product detail but does not leave the page, so user have ease of navigation. Add a HitsLink.com type functionality to review and analyze the before mentioned SEO recommendations.

  19. Tyler Mortensen says:

    The description of your products seem to be very involved and take up a lot of space. I would suggest putting them in collapsable sections or create a section that has tabs for each description category. That way customers who are interested in the product can easily find the information they are looking for, but customers that are browsing are not immediately overwhelmed with the large amount of information you have available for your product(s). Like the general layout though. Good job.

  20. These product pages could be more compelling by highlighting information about the product. With the current layout, the SKU, MSRP, and the promotional icons are given higher importance than the product description. Make the product image larger, and use the space to the right of the image for the price and product description. Then put the less important information like SKU and the promo/brand icons below the description. The image used for “view larger image” should also be much larger to get a better view of the product.

  21. Peter Baik says:

    Hi there,
    I think the advice given by others have been super. But if I had one piece of advice to give you, it would be to look at your pagebody (section 3), specifically the Features and Benefits section, and instead of using separate sections with headers and descriptors of what these features are good for you should try something friendlier like icons and upon clicking the icon a little description appears. This way, you reduce all your page sizes and all you have to do is think of a couple of icons to include on the bottom of the page and these icons already have the links coded in them. So you pick and choose from a collection of large and clear and colorful icons and paste them into the bottom and it will describe what’s needed to be described :)

    Lithium Ion Battery – Graphic Icon
    Take a look at the above picture as an example of a “Lithium Ion Battery” icon. It could be a real picture or even computer graphics! :)

    Cheers & Good luck to everyone!

  22. Ken Gharibian says:

    I have a wide monitor and the page looks very empty and lacks good design. May just making it 900px wide and centering would make it look better on all current screen formats.

  23. Sarah says:

    I’d suggest a simpler design for your product page to unclutter it:

    -Tabs for the product description. The front tab just for short product description then other tabs that will work for all of your product range – perhaps Technical Info and Uses. Lastly a product review tab…most 17 year olds follow the crowd so he is going to want to know that other people like this product.

    - Facebook, Twitter and other share icons directly below the “Add to cart”. He is not solving this problem alone, he is sharing it with his friends on Facebook.

    - Promotional information (“Free 48″ and offers) in tiles at the side with a border around so that it doesn’t clutter up your product info.

  24. I recommend that you make improvements to the Graco promotion on the right. When I clicked on the “see details” link, it took me away from the product page. I think some customers might be annoyed or confused by being wisked away from the product page. Adding to the confusion of the redirection, is that the look of the promo page is different than the product page. To me it looked like I was on a different site altogether. I would recommend putting simplified promo details right on the product page and don’t send them off to another page.

  25. Jason Hollis says:

    If you were to utilize ASPDNSF’s product attribute tabs at the bottom of Section 3 : BODY for all of the product specifications, you would minimize the space needed to display all the details. Another thing that is nice about this built in feature is that you can use it to share specs across similar products.

  26. Michael York says:

    Use the product specs feature of the store front to show a popup with more information to eliminate the need for all the information on the product page. I recommend just including the basic information about the product (a small paragraph or less) to reduce clutter. The storefront will show a link that says “click for more information” and a popup with the additional details will appear. This can significantly improve conversions. The more a customer has to read to determine what the item is, the less likely they will stay on your site.

  27. Make the add to cart button much bigger.
    The graco promotion and comparison seems out of place.
    Is it in stock…would be nice to know and how soon can it ship

  28. Martin Dodd says:

    First I would make the title the first thing you see in the article

    Graco TrueCoatPro…..etc.

    I would then create a tab form that has on its first tab the description and image, with the picture on the left and then wrap the text around the picture with add to cart underneath it (along with the price and sale price. Putting the sale price in a bubble to emphasis the special price). I would also make so that if you click on the picture, it opens up in a lightbox popup enlarged. Eg..

    The TrueCoat Pro Airless Paint Spray……etc
    ……………………………………… | PICTURE HERE (Click on it to enlarge |
    ……………………………………… ______________
    ……………………………………… | ADD TO CART| Price / Sale Price
    ……………………………………… |_____________|

    On this first table I would all make more prominent the free 48 Logo. At the bottom of the first tab I would ad the Compare True Coat Airle sprayer links and See all link

    On the second tab I would add the features and benefits, in here I would only list scanty notes about the benefits and attach a PDF Specification for details about the product. This redesign would then shorten the advert, and make it more readable to the user.

  29. Tommy Wilde says:

    The #1 thing that would make me want to buy is a rating or customer reviews. As a “teenager,” I have no idea if this product is good or not. Secondly, there is way too much text. And honestly, this is a pet peeve of mine on all websites… how long is that price good for? If I come back tomorrow, is that price still valid? If I see the sale ends tonight and it has a good rating, I’d be likely to buy.

    I would also make a big deal about “Since 1984″ and add it to their heading with their logo. I want to know I’m buying from someone reputable. “Experience you can count on since 1984″

  30. CarpeDM says:

    Testimonials! The page and site look great and provide great technical data and easy navigation. Customer testimonials would be helpful, especially with a product that may be difficult to operate and pricey. Without a customer testimonial, do you have a buyer or staffer that can state the ease of use, lightweight size, or other benefit???

  31. Shahram says:

    1- You can use the KITS functionality to bundle up your products with accessories. I noticed people who bought this product, bought some accessories. So you can create kits, like silver, platinum, gold, etc. This way you can sale more and service your customer efficiently. Thanks to ASPDOTNETSTOREFRONT, it is very easy to create them.
    2- Shipping info is missing, you can create a landing page with shipping charges and have a link from detail page. I need to know my shipping options, after all I need it fast.

  32. Aaron Gerber says:

    Design for mobile first, the other pages will come easy…right. I think there is entirely too much copy on this page. By creating tabs and assigning the features and benefits, advantages etc. under tabs it will make the page look much more clean and allow you to focus on the product itself as well as highlight the other offers such as buy one get one for $140.00 and free shipping to the lower 48.

  33. terry lewis says:

    There are a lot of changes that could be made to direct the focus of the customer to the product instead of the other items but the one thing I would change is to move the Shopping Cart Box including the checkout link that is located in the left hand side of the page to the right side of the Product display.

    This would fill in the extra and wasted white space and make it easier for your customers to See the status of their shopping cart and more importantly Checkout.

    Hope you get more great suggestions.

  34. Sunny says:

    I believe part of the answer is already in the question. A teenager is visual. To capture his attention, you will need a large picture placed on top of the page. For example, a picture of an attractive girl painting a fence. The picture should convey the fact that using such as tool, as opposed to a good old paint brush, is cool. The fact that it will take less time to paint the fence should also be clearly conveyed and that smart people people use this tool.

    The bullet points listing the advantage should be integrated in the picture (text overlay) or just below. Fonts should be much larger and made to stand out with bright colours. The text itself should be modified (I doubt teenagers care about portability between jobs) consistently with the message conveyed above.

    The web page itself should be made to look more exiting with a Facebook “like” button and some comments from other buyers or testimonials.

    The features and specifications should be partially hidden and made fully visible only upon clicking on it (i.e. javascript).

    Overall, if the objective is to target a younger crowd (as opposed to professionals as it appears to be the case currently), a far more edgy design is needed, which could lead to more impulse buy.

  35. You want your customers to reach a product with minimal hassle and minimum clicks


    1) Could be more like google where in as you type results starts appearing very do-able with Ajax

    Sort & Filter

    1) You could make use of Type of product / Price range/Brand as your sort filter options which would allow users to find the product in minimal time, again use java/ajax so that you dont have to post back to the server (either full or partial)


    1) You will need to revisit your products details page design a lot of white spaces, a lot of information that could be categorized systematically

    2) Provide Checkout options on products details page only (atleast like paypal / google / Amazon) so that for customers who like to use such services the redirect happens from product details page, this would also save users some clicks and time and they wont really have to fill in details that are not required

    3) Free shipping logo is surely confusing I think a more appropriate representation would be “Free Shipping to Contiguous US” or something to that effect.

    4) Their is NO way for the probable customer to figure out if the merchandize is in stock or is on backorder, this surely needs to change, plus what might help is an indication of Shipping and handling time on the products details page itself “In Stock – Ships the same day if ordered before noon EST” or something to that effect.

    5) Also Bought / Like Products are way too down below the page you need to somehow increase their visibility to the hit.

    6) CONSISTENCY is missing, when it comes to fonts, image sizes, representation of data (In terms of product details) a professional website can not be like this, it needs to be consistent so that the HIT gets the feeling he is browsing on ONE site and not MULTIPLE websites.

    Just my 2 Cents

  36. pRoy says:

    Tabbed XML Package

  37. Tammy says:

    Congratulations Hayley Deacon, winner of this challenge and new iPad owner! Here’s what Casey at Portland Compressor had to say:

    “Soooo many excellent suggestions! It was very hard to choose a single winner amongst so many great ideas.

    When you see the same cart everyday one becomes “snow-blind”. Thanks to AspDotNetStorefront and everyone who commented we are now able to see, through your eyes, what we have been missing.

    After much review and consideration and also keeping with the “ONE BEST suggestion” rule, Portland Compressor has chosen….. Hayley Deacon!
    Hayley’s suggestion to give a confirmation that an item was successfully added to the cart solves a problem we didn’t even know existed. Good call, thank you Hayley!

    We recently (after the conference in Ashland) changed our store to stay on the product page when adding an item to the cart and never thought any more about it.

    We will implement many/most of the suggestions and are already working towards them.

    Thank you to all who participated! Thank you AspDotNetStorefront for The Savvy Merchant Challenge, for allowing us to be in the hot-seat and a special thank you to Jo. We have learned so much and hope to learn more.”

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