Wednesday, March 30, 2011

E-Commerce website feedback - Hip Industries

Since starting this blog, we've been approached by a number of fellow entrepreneurs who would like us to give them suggestions for improving their business.

For the last few months we've been chatting with Ben Loe who has recently launched Hip Industries - a website selling men's bags.

Ben teamed up with a business partner to start Hip Industries after seeing an increasing demand from men for stylish messenger bags. However, he reports that sales have been quite lacklustre -- selling only a handful of bags in the last few weeks. He has tried advertising with AdWords and dabbling in PR.

I've put together the following video talking through some suggestions for Ben.

What else would you suggest that Ben do? How can he improve his conversion rate, as well as traffic to the website?


  1. Hey Michael, Man Brand would like to feature an article on our site for them if they would be keen? It would help get there name out there.
    Cheers, Ben

  2. Hi Ben, I think the feedback that Michael has provided is pretty spot on. Your home page could be improved to make more contemporary and 'metro'. At the moment its a little hard to work out exactly the image you are trying to portray. Also would look at renaming the brand. I think the name is too generic and it would be good if you had something that described your product more closely.

    I think the concept is great though. Good luck!

  3. Hi!

    I agree with using quality fashion photography where people are actually using bags. First impressions lasts and frankly, my first impression of the website is that it's pretty antique with the gold 'money back gurantee' seal.
    The product page is good though! Simple and front on shots of the product always work! :) Hope that helps!

  4. The products look nice.

    Spot on with image comments Foxy.

    The photo quality is very mixed.

    The photo on the car is very confusing. Are you selling an AUDI?

    Many of the photos are cropped and layered together and it is obvious. Particularly the header image - no harmony in the colour scheme and many types of black.

    I think the gold medal on the header makes it look spammy - like an ebook site on secrets to success. The 110% money back guarantee is really suspicious looking. Investigate better ways to do the confidence messaging.

    The branding isn't consistant throughout the site. In fact the branding doesn't look very worked up. The Sorry.

    The About Us section is really generic and just about the product. Who are you purchasing from? You ened to build trust and show you are not some dodgy seller. Foxy you do this well, providing background info on each staff member and media kits.

    Nav order ... bags is more important than about us.

    The entry point to buy the bags is below the fold. Can you use the scenery shots in the header, condence the text blurb and move the product images that you can click on to the forefront.

    Can you change the colour of the "Proceed to checkout" buttons. I'm automatically drawn to continue shopping and the update shopping cart green buttons.

    Hope that helps.


  5. Funnily enough I'm in the market for a manbag! I've been meaning to get a new briefcase, I mean, since Jan.

    I like the bags here. Similar to the one I currently use.

    But the site is not inspiring me! RE the youtube vids a) you can embed them in your ownsite not send me to youtube (less clunky!) and b) the only one I watched for a few seconds was awfully dull. I'm not expecting a guided tour of the bag I want you to sell me COOL. A pretty girl telling my why this man-with-bag looks gorgeous. And how that bag is part of his personality.

    I agree with Lisa that the name is - currently - generic. But you could give it meaning. And by meaning, I mean a cool brand.

    Also, in my quick look not enough questions were answered. One was though: is the bag practical to take to work. Sure. But I think one can presume that fact. Now I want to know:
    is it leather,
    what's the brand/ logo on the front say,
    who else would carry a bag like this,
    where else can I get these from,
    can I see the real thing before I buy,
    is it a reputable business with paypal (I don't want to give creditcard deets to a random business),
    what does 110% money back guarantee mean? If I buy lots of bags and send them back you'll pay me?

    Am sure I can guess the answers to these questions. Or maybe if I look much harder on the site, I'll fine the answers.
    But guessing doesn't entice me to buy! Go on, entice me!


  6. Thank you for all your comments. There is certainty a lot of good suggestions we can take on board for our next website redesign.

    The main thing we are currently looking at is marketing - getting the word out there and increasing traffic. Do you have any ideas on what we can do on that front?

  7. Ben - when you implement the website redesign using the suggestions here the site should start to market itself. Word or mouth will kick in.

    Note that here in ad-agency-land we speak of three types of media. Paid & Owned & Earned. Paid - buy the space and tell your story. Owned - your own channels. Your site, youtube, facebook etc. And Earned both old fashioned PR and social media (the new PR!)

    I'm sure you can form a clear plan for each of these media. I guess you don't want to afford 'Paid media' just yet. And you wont get 'earned media' until you sort out your 'owned media'.

    IE, if the bags are cool/ classy/ stylish/ sassy/ chick magnets/ then create that same brand for your site (your owned media) too.

    I'll be in the market for a bag for a while longer so I hope to be enticed!

    All the best,