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Review of a new site: LooneyLizardCreations.co.uk
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planetZest
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:03 pm    Post subject: Review of a new site: LooneyLizardCreations.co.uk Reply with quote

Hi all,

My name is Piers and i am self employed designer/developer, in my spare time i been creating a new website for my wife to sell her handmade cards online. In short she is dying to start up her own business and leave full time employment, from the job she hates. (similar story to many i know lol)

After a year of working my whatsits off on this new venture, we finally went live end of Jan 2011 and it seems to be going fairly well, though still not enough online sales yet for my wife to quit her job.

So to get to the point (before i start waffling) i am very keen to receive feedback on A) Her site and B) Her cards. Any and all feedback is welcome and very much appreciated, as i would really like to tweak her site to maximise her chances of making it a success.

Haha now i guess i had better spend my spare time creating a new site for my business (yes i know its needs some serious love) as its been well over 8 years and i desperatly need a new one, just been too busy to do it.

My wifes site is: http://www.looneylizardcreations.co.uk/

Thank you all for your time.

Piers
Very Happy
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planetZest
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That good eh!? Very Happy Lots of views, but no comments Shocked

Oh well. lol
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Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a case of giving before you try to take. You need to join in with the community first before people will want to help you.

The only answers you're likely to get are from spammers in, dare I say it?, India, China, etc. and most of these people will probably get banned anyway for posting fluff to up their post count.

If you post something interesting on here then some people might be interested enough to respond to your request.

Until then, you're on a no-hoper if you want any of the legit people to reply to your promotion of your wife's site.
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planetZest
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kay,

Well we dont want spammers replying for sure, get enough of that on a daily basis.

Yep, fair enough, point made...now i guess i had better think of something interesting enough to say. Smile

Thanks for the reply.

Piers
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paul
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A) Her site

Looks OK although I find the floral background a little distracting and it doesn't really seem to fit with the rest of the site (eg. the cartoon-like lizard). I'd have gone for something plainer. The site seems to be easy enough to use.

B) Her cards

Expensive! If I want a one-off card, the chances are I'll just buy it when I'm next in town, from M&S, Hallmark, WH Smith or wheverer. Cost would typically be around 2. I don't tend to go for the handmade cards due to cost. I can appreciate more work goes into them and they are therefore more expensive for that reason, but I don't want to spend upwards of 4 for something that, in all probability, is just going to go in the bin after the event.

To be honest, I'd imagine you would have a hard time making a full time business of this. I would imagine there's loads of competition.
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Kay
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The site took ages to load for me.

I agree with Paul about the floral background. It doesn't go with the rest of the site and it looks too busy.

I also think the name of the site doesn't seem to sit well with the product. A name like Looney Lizard would be great for cartoons and fun cards, but your wife is selling up-market, 'romantic', loving types of cards.

Generally when I buy cards I buy packets of, say, 10 blank cards. Then I can use them for any occasion and write what I want inside them.

I don't always throw cards in the bin after the event. Occasionally I'll keep one if it makes me smile or is special in some way.

Again, I agree with Paul about the prices. If you only want to buy one Valentines card (and who buys those in bulk?) you've got to pay postage to get it sent to you.

I don't think it's a good business idea either.

Your wife clearly has talent at making hand made cards so here's what I suggest she should do instead.

Target hi-so (high society). I'm thinking about the type of people who throw lavish dinner parties. She could make name cards and menu cards for them to their personalised order. (Host sends her the guest list plus menu, Sherrie makes personalised cards for the table.)

Also try to get some major retail outlets to stock some cards (eg Harvey Nicks), or even ask your local corner shop to take some to see how they go.

Send one to Kate Middleton (make sure there's a blurb on it somewhere about the card-making business.)

Visit some of the top restaurants and ask to create hand made menu cards for them.

How about getting into the wedding niche? A lot of weddings seems to require a lot of paraphernalia such as invitations, name cards, thank you cards, etc etc.

Try to think of other uses for hand made cards.
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planetZest
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

@paul, thank you. Yes i have heard similar comments about it being too strong, though we are keen to create a feeling of the season. I think i will reduce the impact and tone them down. The backgrounds change different days through a group of images, at present for this month i only managed to create two, but ordinarily it randomly selects a different one each visit on different days. It still needs some work, but it seems the backgrounds need a little rethink, as other have said similar.

We know that the cards would never compete with the mainstream big brands. From our research there is a real market for handmade cards and people are prepared to pay between 5-10 for a "luxury" card, especially if the card is personalised to their needs. We were a little hesitant at first, but so far she has sold many in the 6-9 range, of course everyone knows that you can pickup a card in Asda for 1.50-2.00, but these days we have found that people want a card a little more personal or unique as everything these days is mass produced to the extreme, which certainly dilutes the sentiment. With making each card by hand, it does take her a lot of time especially with individual customisations and by offering free personalisation's she cannot make stock in bulk.

There is a lot of competiton, but there are only a few sites that have really professionally designed cards and in some cases more expensive. The idea is build a brand reputation and move into wedding/invitation market.

@Kay, thank you. Thats dissappointing that it took a long time to load, hmmm i will have to look into that.

I appreciate your point about the name, the idea was to create a character that conveys her personality and make everything light, colourful, fun and memorable.

She has been working on a few multi packs ideas that would be pretty much blank in terms of any messages, which we are thinking of aiming at a wholesale retailer.

We have found that from the people we have spoken too, if the card is really special/personalised that many (mainly women) will keep the card as a keepsake.

With postage, i see your point, the problem is that most people so far have bought say for example the luxury valentines cards and they have all requested a decorated box, which takes it from a large letter to the packet (by a few mm) which then makes the P&P shoot up by almost a pound. Orders were certinaly flying in much faster when we had a free delivery option on, but the postage costs were certinaly impacting on the profit. It is tough one, as she has been fighting the numbers with postage as we would like to offer free P&P but its not really viable without putting the cost of the cards up.

I really appreciate your suggestions, we were already considering the wedding market once we developed our customer base. I do like the idea of high society dinner parties/reaturant menus, its something i will certainly suggest to her.

Thank you both for your time and toughts on her site.

Piers Very Happy
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Kay
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's nice to be appreciated, thanks. Very Happy

You're in the luxury market, so I really do think that "looney lizards" isn't appropriate.

What other luxury places could you target?

Luxury hotels - sometimes they leave a personalised welcome card or gift in your room. Honeymoons! Related to the wedding niche, of course, but I believe most honeymoon suites come with champers and roses. Why not a hand made card too?

How about making little gift tags? The buyer can write their own message on them. Could be good at Christmas.

I think your biggest problem will be selling online. It's possible that one of your major customers will be the mother of the bride to be. I doubt if she'll go online to look for cards. (Have you done any keyword research?) Maybe it's more likely that she'll see something in a shop and think, "Oh, that would be just perfect!". I think you need to get the cards into shops.

It might be worth investing in a stand at relevant trade shows. Or at the very least attend these events and give out hand made business cards to a select few people.
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headsocial
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I quite like the site and only had a quick look but I am not so sure on the background it hurt my eyes and took my eye line away from the content and the site, Maybe ask the web design company to add an opacity to make it less in your face?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Husband (me) = web design company Very Happy

Thanks @headsocial, quite a few people have also commented on this, which is on my list of things to change. We have been away on hols and i have been working 70+ hour weeks so my wifes site has unfortunately been put on pause (in terms of making changes). There has been some great suggestions and ideas that i plan to put into motion soon as i can.

She has not pestered me about it too much as she knows i am seriously overworked at the moment.

Thanks for your input Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi..i just checked out the site.The cards are really awesome & I must say that your wife is very talented.Hats off to her.

To be frank About the site i agree with others regarding the background & prices.When i read the url i thought its a cartoon site but after reading your post i came to know that your site is related to cards.I would suggest you to make the background like the card or something written in italics across the whole site.

You can create a blog related to your work to promote.There are lots of errors from seo view point like images don't have alt tags,there are more than one h1 tags etc..

your cards are a bit costly for promotion purposes you can give some offers like price off, etc.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

for me the URL isnt so much about what it suggests but how long it is, I would just be tempted, although I know its hard to, find something shorter and more memorable. the relation to card doesnt always have to be there, look at moonpig for example.

ok i realise were in a recession - or just coming out of one, but i think the prices arent rediculous. obviously for some people its fine to pay a bit extra for something nice, others will only do it on a special occasion - if it wasnt one of those they wouldnt be buying the card, so your in luck there, just need to convince them its worth the extra money.

obviously with the talk about prices i think you need to really clearly define your target market, look at the area trends they tend to be in, or other products they buy etc and see where you can market the site.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually think the site's pretty good. First impression was that it's very busy, but it's well organised, structured and easy to find things. I don't know about the pricing structure of the cards but that's not what I'm looking at really. As for the domain name, funkypigeon or moonpig doesn't really suggest cards either, so I don't see a problem with the name.

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...but I suppose those two are catering for the masses rather than a particular niche. The luxury end of the market probably doesn't lend itself to quirky names in quite the same way.

Think Louis Vuitton, Versace, Prada, etc. ...they all have a certain air about them.
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 4:16 pm    Post subject: Hi Reply with quote

Nice site man !
I like it....
~ Cheers Cool
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