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The e-commerce.

I need your help - please review my shop


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I maintain the German shop


My Webpage


since January 2003 for my nephew. Since we haven't sold so much to German customers and nothing at all to customers outside of Germany I thought it would be good to get the opinion of experienced people about the overall shop experience they get from my shop. So I ask you to look at my shop and tell me why you think people, especially those outside of Germany, don't want to buy anything form our store.


I have the following ideas which could help, but you tell me please if I'm right:


1. My nephew thought he would be creative and took the sitename "creatives-ambiente". I told him he should use an international one like "creative-ambience", but he didn't follow. I don't know if a sitename is so important.


2. I have ONLY listed the shipping costs for Germany under "Versand" by using the German language and NOT the shipping costs under "Shipping" by using the English language for all other countries (my shippings costs depend on weight and destination). It would be a huge job for me to list for EVERY country on this earth the shipping costs.


3. I use ONLY the payment methods money order and cash on delivery. I wanted to include also credit card but my nephew said too much fraud happens with it and he doesn't want to get into this hassle. I'm going to offer him Paypal as replacement.


4. Perhaps fresher colors. But the colors are adapted to the logo colors. And those are on business cards, firm, letters ....


5. Put the "We about us" story at the startpage into a special "We about us" page and use the startpage for news, specials ....(?)


6. Offer at least 10% advertise reimbursement for affiliates. Right now we offer only 5% and probably haven't gotten therefore no affiliate yet. My nephew said he cannot pay an affiliate more when he only gives 20% to a reseller which has a lot more work to do selling the products.


7. Our products are not the best for internet selling. My nephew wants to add shoes in the future. But what then about the company name "Creatives Ambiente". What is creative about shoes?


8. Offer also Dollars as payment method. But my nephew says he doesn't like the hassle of ever changing exchange rates and perhaps loosing money with it.


9. But if I could convice my nephew to use Dollars I also want to use the USA-Froogle (froogle.com; I use already the German Froogle with the elmar-contribution). But for this I need the Google feed contribution and I don't know if it works with my old Oscommerce version.


10. As mentioned in 9., I could perhaps use useful new contributions but they probably would not work with my old Oscommerce version.


11. Perhaps use Flash to show product pictures where the custome could turn and resize the pictures. But I don't know so much about Flash and don't know if this could be integrated in Oscommerce.


So these are my thoughts. Please tell me what you think about them and what other things I could do to let our store be a good income source.


Thanks so much in advance for your answer.



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Well first off, your English is certainly better than my German. BUT you aren't a native English speaker and it definitely shows. The descriptions in English are clumsy and often grammatically incorrect. It would probably do you a world of good to have a native English speaker go over the whole site and and clean it up a bit.


Second, I wouldn't even consider buying something from an overseas shop without being able to use a credit card. Not only is it easier, but paying by credit card provides the buyer with a certain level of fraud protection. So I doubt you will ever get a sale from the US unless you start taking credit cards or paypal.


Shipping costs are a big deal, and (at least here in the US), shipping doesn't vary that much by region. In other words, shipping to all of Western Europe will be roughly equivalent from here. Try doing regional shipping prices - shipping to the US, shipping within mainland Europe, shipping to the British isles, shipping to Asia, etc. You could probably get away with 5-10 general regions where you could define specific shipping charges. Most people won't even consider buying until they know how much shipping is going to be.


Those are your 3 BIG issues. Fix those and you'll start doing better. Most of the other stuff would help, but isn't as critical.


Yes, you could use some more interesting colors - they are very bland. Avoid using Flash, most people find it annoying - just add a few more pictures to each product, there are a ton of picture contributions you can use. "We about us" should just read "About Us" - get rid of the "We".


You have a bit of work to do.

Good luck,


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Hello Adrienne,


thanks a lot for your answer.


With my number 2. I meant that I do NOT show people the specific shipping costs on a separate page like e.g. "Shipping" in the information box. I DO show them during the buying transaction. Is it still necessary to show them on a separate page before people start the buying transaction?


What's about number 8?



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If your customer has to create an account to get shipping information, it's too late. One thing you can try is to add the Ship in Cart module, which allows you to show destination-based shipping charges in the shopping cart before having to create an account. (I haven't used this myself, but have heard positive things about it.)


I don't think prices in dollars are that crucial. It's a nice-to-have, but not a show stopper. Not taking credit cards is a show stopper.



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