Hello again! Remember me? I hope so – my website and shop have been offline for the whole of this year and I do apologise, but I’ve been very busy making lots of changes and improvements and now that my new site is live, I hope you find it more informative, easier to use and far better than the last version.
It’s taken longer than I thought it would, but that’s been down to the time restraints I have of being a full time mum, as well as the fact that I’m a perfectionist at heart and want to get every little detail right. I wrote about my website redevelopment in April this year and mentioned how the focus was shifting to a more image led and shop orientated site. The main goal of my website has always been to sell my products successfully online and I don’t think my old website was doing this goal any justice.
Images were small, the site was burdened by loads of badly organised text and I was constantly geting emails from people asking where they could buy my products. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t see the ‘shop’ link in the navigation. So it was this main reason that prompted the redesign. I spent a long time looking at other successful online brands and shops from a customer point of view. I asked for lots feedback on my own website from a select few people and took all their constructive criticism on board. I talked through everything with my mentor, hired a copywriter and went through several design revisions.
And here we are now. Below is a list of some of the improvements and changes I’ve made.
New and Improved Navigation
The website focus has shifted from being an informative site to being an online shop, so the first thing you will notice is that the navigation reflects this and from it you can access all the main shop categories directly. You can also find out about the work I’ve done to Commission easily and find my contact page more directly.
Because of the shift to being an online shop, my About and other info pages have taken a bit of a back seat and you’ll find links to these above the main navigation on the left, where you’ll also find icon links to my social media presence.
The homepage has had a total revamp and is now full to the brim of images and links that take you directly to product listings and important information on the website.
Bigger, Better Shop Category Images
With bigger shop category images, it’s now easier to find your way around and see the products you want to peruse and buy.
New Account Links, Sign In/Out, Favourites
At the top of every shop page you’ll now see this bar where you can view your account details, past orders, address book etc as well as sign in and sign out if you have an account. There is also a link to your Favourites. This is a new feature in my shop that allows you to ‘favourite’ products and add them to a list to view later, or to share with friends and family (Christmas / Birthday present hints etc). Simply click on the small love heart icons that appear on the product thumbnail or in the product description and the item will be added to your favourites list.
Shop Search Facility
I’ve added a nifty little search widget into the left sidebar of the shop so that you can search for specific products or materials etc. The search brings back a nice list of products where you get a thumbnail of the product, a product title, a product description, the price and a link.
I’ve added a breadcrumb trail underneath every category title, so you always know where you are. The links in the breadcrumb trail all work, so you can easily retrace your steps backwards by using these links.
Product images that reflect your selections
Another new feature in the shop is that when a product has options e.g. you can buy a single greetings card or a box of 15, the product image changes depending on your selection so you can instantly see what you are buying – the price is also updated if your option selection increases or decreases the total price for the item.
Another new feature is related products. Now whenever you view a product in the Milomade shop, you can quickly see related products at the bottom of the page that are either from the same collection or made from the same materials. I hope this makes it easier to browse the shop and find the products you want to buy.
Rather than being scattered all over the place, which was the case with my old website, I’ve put all the about info into one section on the new website. It’s a bit wordy, but I think it’s all relevant and an interesting read. Thanks to Lisa at Silver Hub Studios in Edinburgh for the fab photo of me at the bench working on a locket.
I’ve still got work to add to this section, but my Collections have being re-organised and re-categorised as well as being re-photographed too. The emphasis here is on larger images that can be scrolled through rather than the tiny thumbnails I used to have.
In the new website footer, there’s a link to subscribe to my newsletter. This is something new for Milomade and I hope to send out regular newsletters and the benefits of subscribing are:
- You get a one-time-use 10% discount code for my online shop.
- Get updates about new products listed in the shop
- Enter subscriber only competitions to win Milomade goodies
- Get regular discount codes for subscribers only
- Get the chance to do product testing and reviews
… to name but a few things.
Also I’m running a prize draw – the first 50 subscribers will be in the chance of winning a pair of lovely heart earrings from my new ‘Enduring Love’ collection to be launched soon.
So there you have it – There’s probably more I could do to improve the website, but I’m really happy with what I’ve re-created and the stage it’s at now and I’ve made the decision to put the site live today. I’ve still got a lot of new products to add to the shop, but these can be done whilst the shop is active as I didn’t want to delay going live any further.
I would love your opinions, so please post your comments below…