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Old 18 August 2011, 12:57   #1
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What is your favourite business web site?

We are going to redo our site, it has grown and grown and now needs a prune. So may as well look at a clean screen. Any links to favourite business web sites would be most welcome, boaty ideally but not strictly.

Thanks
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Old 19 August 2011, 02:06   #2
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Autotrader is slick, Ebay/Amazon is pretty good too, may be some ideas there for searching/product selection filters and clicking into products to get further details?

I think a lot of the boaty websites are pretty poor in comparison to the leaders but I suppose this reflects funds available for site development. Force 4 have a fairly decent site and Marine store is not bad either.

A couple of things you need on the list are 1) a good search function with things indexed by a variety of common terms and not just the product name (eg "carbine" and "carabiner" should both work) and 2) a "show all" function on a search which displays all returns on 1 screenful so you can whizz quickly down a list of 100 products searching for what you wanted, instead of having to click through 10 pages and wait for each one to load.

Good product pictures that can be enlarged full screen are also worth having - thumbnails are pretty much useless for a lot of things.
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Old 19 August 2011, 03:00   #3
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Martin...

Favourite marine website: the newly revamped Sea-Screw: it's clear, bright and attractive and the up front categorisation of what they sell in the on-line shop helps homing in on what your after.

Favourite business website: First Direct: again clear and easy to understand. It's mostly in black and white which has a certain appeal for what it is but is probably inappropriate for your needs.

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Old 19 August 2011, 03:20   #4
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First Direct: again clear and easy to understand. It's mostly in black and white which has a certain appeal for what it is but is probably inappropriate for your needs.:
I wonder if it would be mostly red and white if I moved my banking there!


Martin, I don't know if you track this or not - but the simplicity of checkout is certainly something that can loose you sales. I've been told that if it takes more than 5 clicks from "checkout" to completion, then more than half the transactions will be dropped. Obviously depends what you sell, how competitive etc - but I am more likely to revisit a site with a good buying process (rather than rely on google to find me a deal). Although my browsing habits may not be normal!

Your current website slightly gives me the feel that you are doing lots of things with a bit of chandlery on the side. Knowing your business better than an average visitor that doesn't worry me - but coming cold I would be concerned that like many you don't actually have any stock and I'll be waiting weeks. So stock status would be great to integrate.
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Old 19 August 2011, 03:45   #5
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Thanks all, great comment and please keep them coming.

Bang on Polwart, the site does need a change of emphasis for sure.
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Old 19 August 2011, 08:47   #6
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My favourite website at the moment is still http://www.graze.com - its just so clean and slick, I am thinking of something similar for a project im about to start.

Theres a lot of clean ideas here too:
http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/galle...erce-websites/
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Old 19 August 2011, 09:06   #7
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Registration

Hi Martin

It annoys me when I need to 'register' in order to pay on any website. I never remember the login / password when returning and have to get prompted email reminders. The only benefit of registration is storing my address which generally auto fills as soon as I enter 1st letter. Card details are not stored and I often use different cards.

I am sure you can still request an email address with the order and keep these for any promotional emails you wish to send out. I like most internet shoppers browse many sites and will usually go with the cheapest (inc shipping).

Stock levels a good idea. Also, demo video / links to youtube demo video showing displays / operation of electronics.

'Recommended packages' Ie VHF GPS Fishfinder and all the required bits to interface. Pictures of installations on your target market ie RIBS ??

Cheers
Karl
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Old 19 August 2011, 11:47   #8
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It annoys me when I need to 'register' in order to pay on any website. I never remember the login / password when returning and have to get prompted email reminders. The only benefit of registration is storing my address which generally auto fills as soon as I enter 1st letter. Card details are not stored and I often use different cards.
I would agree with that. if you are going to insist on registration consider allowing me to log in with Facebook / OpenID / Google account etc to authenticate.

However Karl it sounds like you need a system to remember your passwords. The following is a variation on what I do (as telling you mine would be silly!).

take some letters from the web address e.g. Www.Rib.Net might become WRN and then add it to an easy to remember but secure "base password" so e.g. your ribnet password might become WRN_Zeu$ whilst Welcome to Facebook - Log In, Sign Up or Learn More is then WFC_Zeu$ and www.channelribs.co.uk would be WCCU_Zeu$ - every (well almost every) site has a unique password but you only need to remember the base & method. Much easier to do than write! It amazes me how many people use the same (or virtually the same) password everywhere.
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Old 19 August 2011, 13:55   #9
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I hate sites that ask you to print a page with an order number onto be able to call them when your order doesn't arrive (I dont mean that will happen with you) . Much prefer the ones that send you an email thats easiily stored /looked at if you need to.

Likewise the ones that email you when something actually goes in the post - so you know when it should arrive.

And as for the 'big' sites that dont have any contact phone numbers on - drives me nuts - what if I want to talk to a real person ? - Especially valuable for the complex type products involved in boating ....
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Old 19 August 2011, 15:09   #10
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Show some pictures and movies of you, your crew and your warehouse to make clear that you are a real company and not only a website. Make indications on oversea shipping costs and if people can pay via bank account, have your bank account number in international IBAN/SWIFT format on your site. (I don't know if this is common in the UK, in France many companies will be unable to you their bank account number in international standard).
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