A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail from a friend, James, asking me if I could take a look at his website.
James has a new e-commerce site that he is trying to get off the ground. James’ site is Fili Food. When James contacted me, he said that the site was “new” but I was not sure exactly how new it was, so I looked up the domain records to see what I could find out. I find that the domain name was originally registered in December of 2010, so indeed the site is quite new. It would be logical to think that the site did not go up until the name had been owned for a couple of months, so the site could be very, very new.
So, I had a look at the site, and I asked James if he would be amenable to me doing a site review here on Virtual Earner. He said that he had no problem with that, so here we go.
My thoughts on how to make more money with Fili Foods
When you go to the site, the first thing you see is a lot of rather small text right in the middle of the top of the home page of the site. The information there is important, but you won’t make any money from that, and I would recommend doing one of two things:
- Move the block of text down to the bottom area of the home page.
- Set up an “About Us” page and move that information there.
I would personally lean toward doing an “About Us” page. The information in that text is important, but you make money from selling products, and you need to get some products up toward the top of the page.
The name of the site is “Fili Food,” but what is that? Of course, I have figured out what it is… Filipino Food. But, that is not clear. The header says: “Fili Food, a taste of home.” It’s a catchy slogan, and I like it, but what I would recommend is changing the slogan to “A taste of the Philippines” instead. For me, this does two things:
- Brings the Philippines into the picture for those who don’t understand what “Fili Food” is.
- Is inviting to those who like Filipino food, but are not from the Philippines (thus the Philippines is not “home” to them).
These are small points, but could have some impact over time.
OK, so after looking over the site, people will figure out that it is all about Filipino Food, right? Well… maybe not. Fili Food is also selling jewelry, John Deere Tractor stuff, Korean Food (Kimchee), Philippine brooms, Philippine T Shirts and such. It is a bit confusing. For me, I would suggest concentrating on one category, at least to get started, Philippine Food, as the site name suggests.
Another drawback is that there is a real lack of variety. For example, if I go to the “Snacks” category there are only two products: Sky Flakes Crackers and Nagaraya nuts. There are not even multiple flavors of either snack food available, just two products in all. I expected to see maybe 25 or 50 choices of snack foods there. My feeling is that selection is limited because the site is so young, but still, it is something that needs to be addressed. And, the lack of choice is not limited to Snacks, that is just the example that I chose to use. All of the product categories have very limited selection.
Prominently displayed on the header of the site is an invitation to look at the new products that are available in the store. I clicked on that to see what was new, but of the new products shown (50 in all), none of them are food, and really none of them are related to the Philippines (a few jewelry pieces, I am sure came from the Philippines, but are not uniquely Filipino).
What would I do with the site?
OK, so if it were my site and I wanted to increase traffic and sales, what would I do?
The first thing I would do is to work hard on getting more selection of Philippine Food products. It is just too limited right now.
Second, I would get some of the things like John Deere stuff and other non-related products off the site and concentrate on what the site is supposed to be about: Philippine Food. You can still sell other products, but set up a different site for that.
Third thing I would do would be to do some advertising for the site. Right now, how can people find your site? In fact, what I would strongly recommend would be for James to do some advertising on my other site, the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. I can work up a package of advertising for James which would be inexpensive and also expose his target customer to his store. My site gets a huge amount of traffic, and it would seem to me that my readers are the exact people that would be a customer for the products that James is selling. Look at advertising in other places too, there are lots of sites on the web that would be perfect places to advertise.
Fourth thing I would do? Keep improving, and let time pass. It takes time to make an online store successful. There is no substitute for time. But, don’t just sit around waiting for customers to come. Make improvements in the site, add more selection, do other things that will make the site more attractive and more user-friendly for your customers or potential customers.
James, these are just a few of my thoughts about how you can increase your online sales at Fili Foods. I hope that you don’t feel offended at any of my suggestions, because that was not my intention. My intention was to offer real world suggestions that might help you, and I hope that is what I did.
Good luck with the site, James.