Having an effective website is crucial for business. Not only does a website need to be aesthetically pleasing, but it needs to have proper tools in order to promote and boost sales. Here we will analyze and compare the websites for 27th Star Co. (a handmade home goods company) and two competitors, Minna Goods and Folk Fibers.
Considering the fact that 27th Star Co. is a fairly small company, their website is pretty good! The web address is straight to the point, and as soon as you arrive to the homepage, you know what the company is about. The site is a very clean, simple design that is appealing and easy to navigate. All pages are available throughout the site. Product info is provided and is readily available within just 2 clicks away. Plus, the site is compatible with mobile devices, which is very important due to the ever-growing popularity of tablets and smartphones.
27th has done a great job at making sure their social media pages are linked prominently. Providing social media channels is a great method of pull marketing and gaining traffic to those channels. Users who visit their socials are then (re)directed back to the website in order to make purchases (which is easy and secure, by the way). Since it’s a start up, there isn’t much evidence of Push marketing campaigns, as it is not really in their budget at the moment. Once business starts booming more, that would be one of my first suggestions for 27th Star. I believe that implementing an email or newsletter for new items and promotions would be extremely helpful. Also, I would recommend that 27th Star adds a search bar and a sitemap to the site.
Minna Goods has a great website, as well. Their web address is simple, and the layout is very neat and easy on the eyes. The layout and theme is consistent throughout the site, which is great because it makes it that much easier to focus on the products. If you want to narrow down your search a bit, you can use the very convenient search bar. Minna’s site works just as well on mobile devices as it does on a computer. Upon seeing the homepage, you can tell that they are a textiles company, as the homepage displays featured items. The site, products, information, and contact page are all easy to find and only a few clicks away.
Some features on the site, which are also examples of Push and Pull marketing techniques, are a newsletter sign up and social media links. Social media pulls customers back into your brand, and the email newsletters are pushing information to customers on a regular basis. The discount incentive doesn’t hurt either! Speaking of discounts, once customers are ready to make a purchase, checkout is smooth and secured through Shopify.
I would make more suggestions, but this site really is pretty great. They even have a feed that automatically posts their most recent Instagram posts, which is another great branding idea for a website. My only “complaint” would be that there isn’t a home button, and while you can just click on the MINNA logo at the top left corner, I think a home button would be a nice addition to the navigation bar.
Folk Fibers has a very, very simple layout. That’s okay though, because it goes along with the brand’s identity of being very simple and natural. The web address is direct, and the pages are easy to switch between. Like the other sites, this one works well on mobile devices, too. However, there is not a set home page. The current landing page is a combination of products for sale with blog excerpts.
Push and Pull marketing techniques are apparent here on the site, much like their competitors mentioned above, through social media links and a newsletter sign up. Folk Fibers also has an Instagram feed box that shows recent photos. These techniques are great for small goods companies because these are budget-friendly ways to keep customers up-to-date on new products and promotions.
My suggestions for improving the site would be to have a separate, simple home page that is your logo, a brief description of what Folk Fibers is, and perhaps a slideshow with photos of your products. I would also suggest that a more substantial contact system be in place via a Contact page, where customers can fill out a form directly from the site. I also believe that the “about” and “contact” sections on the footer can be moved to separate pages that can be navigated to when a customer chooses to seek that information out.