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Thread: Crit Time: Our First Major E-commerce Site

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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Question Crit Time: Our First Major E-commerce Site

    So last month we designed and developed our first really major e-commerce website. We've designed plenty online stores before, but none of this magnitude.

    This site took an absolute age to get just right. It is probably the first major site in the country to offer online financing for the purchase of its products. To get this right we had to put together a 15 page online credit application form and integrate that with the e-commerce system. Hundreds of conditional fields, calculation fields, upload fields and a what feels like a million bugs later, we finally managed to get it all working.

    We also coded a collection plugin which allows customers to choose a depot from which to collect their goods from, should they not want it delivered.

    Would love it if I could get some feedback on the website. The website address is: https://bfore.co.za

    We also manage BFore's SEO, PPC and social media campaigns.

    Some extra notes on the site on the performance of the site thus far:

    • Two months after production, we're seeing around 2,000 unique visitors per month.
    • The Facebook page has grown to 1,300 fans as a result of the competition and ad campaign we're running. We expect this to drop off a bit after the competition, but because we plan to run competitions almost every month, this should be somewhat negated.
    • On average, Facebook posts are reaching 35-40% of the fan base. Compared to norms of 8-17%, that's phenomenal.
    • 50% of all traffic is coming from search.
    • Conversion was a bit of a problem due to the nature of the store's offerings. For this reason we are continuously split testing and making conversion tweaks to the site. For example, the visual content you see on the home page was almost all text-based before. We changed it to images/diagrams to help visitors to more easily understand BFore's cellphone contracts and financing.
    • We are about to add a one-page checkout system to help increase conversion even further.
    • Another thing on the list is social sharing buttons on each of the product pages.


    If anybody wants to take a look at the Facebook page, it's facebook.com/bforeSA - Enter the iPhone comp while you're at it. Ends Friday.

    I'd just like some feedback on the general appeal of the site, user-friendliness and and anything else odd that you may be able to spot.

    Oh, we also did a total rebrand of BFore, logo and stationery included.
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I've managed to crash the site twice. It seems that it gets confused when I change menu options too fast. Other than that the site is really nice.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    Mark Atkinson (27-Jun-12)

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I can replicate it. I click "Collection Information" and while its loading click "Products" - doing this kills the IE session. I'll see if it does the same on Firefox
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    I've managed to crash the site twice. It seems that it gets confused when I change menu options too fast. Other than that the site is really nice.
    Really? Haven't encountered that one before. What browser are you using, Adrian?
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Firefox is fine. Its not "Collection Information" it is "Collection Addresses"

    I played with it on IE again. If I switch from any menu to any menu while its loading the menu option it takes the IE session down.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    I tried to replicate the error in my IE. I couldn't get it right.

    May be something to do with the fact that some of the form code has to load last to avoid the drop down conflicting with other parts of the site.

    Thanks for the heads up though.
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I can crash it over and over again. Go to Collection Addresses and while it is loading the maps hit Products.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Silver Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    I can crash it over and over again. Go to Collection Addresses and while it is loading the maps hit Products.
    For what it is worth... I tried simulating what Adrianh experiences, but if works without any hitches on my side. I am on IE8

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    Mark Atkinson (27-Jun-12)

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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I think IE should be banned for all eternity.
    "The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear." - Socrates
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I tried it on 3 browsers on the tablet and they're all fine. Yea, IE should get banned...
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

  13. Thanks given for this post:

    Mark Atkinson (27-Jun-12)

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