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MaggiesMaggies subscriber Posts: 1
edited July 2008 in Website Critique


I am interning at Maggie’s Organics, a company that makes and sells organic and fair trade apparel, such as socks, scarves, shirts, loungewear, and baby clothes.  Our main goal is to get people to buy our products and to get them to sign up for our e-newsletter.  This way we can establish strong direct relationships with our customers, which will help us create the products they want, the way they want them.  Alongside increasing our online consumer orders we want to educate consumers on the benefit of organic cotton and ethically made clothing.  We would appreciate some input as to how to accomplish our goals simultaneously.  In fact, we are so interested in your feedback that we will award a randomly selected reviewer with a $50 Maggie’s gift certificate!  In order to be entered please respond thoughtfully and give realistic suggestions by August 1, 2008.

Thanks in advance for your feedback,



(734) 482-4000


  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member

    You say that the message you want to get across is about organic products .... it would make sense that you promote that idea right away, but you don`t .... the word "organic" only appears a couple of times on the main page, and it`s so small that it`s easily overlooked .... you really aren`t saying anything at all about organics, or providing a message up front to promote what you want to say ..... so the site just looks like another clothing shop online, nothing to differentiate it or speak to your target market other than a couple of "organics" here and there. If you want to educate people on this, create something on the front page to get their attention, then lead them to another page where the major information is.
    The other part of your message is about business partners and sweatshops ( more or less ), but this info is buried on another page .... again, if you want this idea to be part of your sales message, get it up front, don`t bury it.
    The image at the top left has the url of www.organicclothes.com ..... but clicking it leads back to your page .... creates some confusion. Also, in the nav area at the top, "Home" and "Shop" go to the same page .... again, confusing at first, and unnecessary.
    You should get the site validated and add a doctype, as well as meta descriptions. You also need unique titles for each page. You also don`t seem to have any image alt tags, h1/h2 tags, and basic seo aspects in the page.
    Your images should be optimized; they are rather large as far as file size and make up a big part of your total page size. Smaller file sizes will make your site load faster and use less bandwidth.
    Your newsletter signup is at the bottom of the page, and doesn`t stand out at all. Easy to overlook, so you may not get many people doing it. Again, whatever you want to be prominent on your site, then make it prominent. And don`t just let it sit there; you want it to have a purpose, so tell people why they should sign up.
    In short, get your SEO in place, and your overall message up front.

  • VideographyVideography subscriber Posts: 401 Silver Level Member
    I don`t know if Craig and Webline saw the same website that I did.  While I agree with both of them, I don`t see the emphasis on organic that they saw.On the site:  I would have rather seen prices as: "From $15" instead of "30% Off".  It`s OK in a store where someone can do comparison shopping, but I don`t like sites that make me hunt for the prices.I didn`t see anything about shipping and return policies, but then I only looked it for a few minutes.I did look at the source code and there are no meta tags to help the search engines.  Your site designer may have said they aren`t all that important.  Which may be true, but they certainly don`t hurt.Hope this helps.
  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member

    VG ..... that was one of my points .... the message they want to convey is about organic products, which is not very obvious .... to me anyway.

  • VideographyVideography subscriber Posts: 401 Silver Level Member
    I try to not get into the business plan itself, unless it relates to the functionality of the site.  I did not see such emphasis on green here, and I agree that being green is becoming ad-nauseum and eventually won`t sell on its` own merits due to the  saturation.  It`s no longer a USP."Forgettable" unfortunately describes 99% of all sites.  Including our own.  So when the site sells a product that you can find on any of dozens of other sites, you need to get the sale on the first visit.So, Mary - what is unique about your product?  You can`t say `organic` or `green` because, as Craig said, it`s no longer unique.  When you determine that, you are on your way to defining your strategy.
  • DefMallDefMall subscriber Posts: 2 Member
    Allow me to make a marketing suggestion that is somewhat "opposite" of Craig`s.
    I am looking at this question in your post:
    "Alongside increasing our online consumer orders we want to educate consumers on the benefit of organic cotton and ethically made clothing" And my answer would be this:There are 100,000 clothing retialers out there. Only a small handful of them sell products made from Organic Cotton in an Ethical Environment. That being said, market to your niche`. It doesn`t matter if only the very rich buy it, or only the handul who care about Ethics and Organics. The point is, businesses thrive BECAUSE there is a whole to fill and a niche to sell to. Start writing a blog, tie that blog toyour site. Make every post about something related to Organic Cotton or Non-Ethical Work Environments or the like. Make every post end with a product suggestion and a link to it back to your store. The blog is NOT designed to educate people on what is on sale. It`s to educate people on your `message`. On your `story`. When they belive in your message, they will buy your product. Use Social Networking to make the world aware of you and your story. There HAVE to be groups online that care about this. In fact, Fast Company has a community and I am 100% certian one of the `sub groups` is Social responsibility. It`s a good place to start, and there must be many more. Join these groups and talk about your `message` and your `story`. When people believe in your message, they will buy your product. Use Web 2.0 methods to bring exposure to your blog. In other words, as you seek our communities to market to, make it easy for those communities to find YOU. I`ve wrwitten a basic white paper on this if you`d lilke me to e-mail it to you. The bottom line is this: there is a lot of `noise` out there. Everyone has something to sell, and in today`s eCommerce Economy it is often about lowest price and largest selection. The companies that hav a unique and valuable message to share become `interesting` and `noteworthy`. And that`s worth advertising. Please e-mail me at [email protected] if you`d like to chat more...
  • DefMallDefMall subscriber Posts: 2 Member
    "Maggie" -
    I wrote an article about Maggie`s Organics on my blog today.

    http://shopforthegood.blogspot.com/2008 ... anics.html

    I found a `super mall of social values` to be horribly hypocritical, and I wanted to use your smaller store as an example of what a High Value eStore SHOULD be like.
    I hope you do not mind the `referral`. 
  • MaggiesMaggies subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you everyone for your feedback.  Congratulations to Def Mall who won the $50 gift certificate. 
    Again, thank you for your time and suggestions.
    Take care,
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