So I Wanna Tell You All About My Huge Fail

Remember my beautiful new dedicated administrative support business success store I announced over this past summer? The one on an actual e-commerce site with its own domain?

Yeah, that didn’t work out so well, lol.

Originally, it seemed like such a good idea to move my products to their own dedicated store.

I thought an e-commerce site would allow me to better organize things and provide a way for shoppers to search for and view products in many different, more convenient ways.

One of the biggest problems I encountered was with the e-commerce template we purchased.

It was a fiasco from day one and honestly, I am nowhere nearer to knowing what would have been a better e-commerce template to use on a WordPress driven site.

But I had already committed to this, and I was bound and determined to make it work.

I spent beaucoup bucks having my programmer get things working. He basically had to rewrite everything from scratch.

But it was worth it to me.

I thought once we were done, we’d have a product site that would be much more user-friendly and easier for my site visitors to navigate.

On top of that, there wouldn’t be any monthly fees paid to a shoppingcart service because it was all built in and customized.

Sounds great, right?

Well here’s what happened…

After much, much time and energy, we finally got things looking and working fabulously. I was absolutely loving it!

Moving everything over to the new site, I was prepared to lose some traffic at first. I was even prepared to lose a few customers as the new store required folks to create an account so they could download their products.

The reason I thought this would be beneficial was because instead of links that expired in a certain timeframe, they could always go to their account to download their products. With an account-based system, they would also always have access to the latest versions of any products they had purchased. Who wouldn’t love that, I thought.

Well, sales did slow to a trickle, but I expected that.

Then we discovered another significant issue in the affiliate programming–nothing that affected our affiliates, just stuff that forced more manual processes than should have been.

My programmer went to valiant, heroic efforts in getting the bugs worked out, but ultimately he advised me to just scrap things. It would simply cost too much and we’d already sunk soooo much money into recoding everything at it was.

I would have been happy to spend the money if it meant making things work except for one ultimate deal breaker…

I TOTALLY underestimated how much people hate creating accounts in order to purchase things!

As I said, I knew going in that I’d probably lose a few customers due to the account thing.

I never anticipated, however, that sales would pretty much come to a screeching halt. That’s how dramatic the difference was.

And so I had to finally admit defeat. The new store was a complete bust.

We’re back to the original, simple one-page ACA Success Store and sales have come back through the roof!

I know I used the word “fail” in my post title, but I don’t really consider it a fail. I learned a lot (albeit expensively) about consumer buying habits, what works and what doesn’t, and missteps to avoid in future scenarios like this.

I love that I can make decisions without endlessly deliberating over them.

I love that I can take leaps, fully commit myself to seeing things through, yet still have the sense to know when it’s time to fold.

I know that I still have great instincts in business and nine times out of 10, I’m gonna rock it!

I never want to be afraid to try new things just because it might not work out. Fortunately, I still have that spirit.

And I wish the same for you which is the lesson and the reason I share this with you today.

Rock on, all you fearless entrepreneurs!

3 Responses

  1. Mary Motz says:

    Hi Danielle – thank you for posting this. I work with WordPress a lot – and what (albeit limited) experience with “ecommerce themes” have been really awful. I’m sure someone out there has success stories with them, but I haven’t seen it personally, though.

    Im sticking with eJunkie, 1SC and Mal’s. they are easy and they work!

    The site you had really looked lovely, tho. As does your current one. 😉

    – Mary

  2. Oh, Mary, you ain’t kidding–awful is the word, LOL. I remember saying about the vendor and the template we got from them, “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy–or maybe I would.” LOL

    Yes, I absolutely LOVE e-junkie. If we could have figured out a way to use e-junkie with the template, that would have been SO much better, but it just wasn’t feasible.

    It’s also a lesson in “Don’t fix what ain’t broke” LOL. But I’m an explorer… I’m always thinking maybe I can improve things even more. Lesson learned.

    The thing that I was most upset about was putting a crimp in all my affiliates’ incomes. I felt soooo horrible about having them go to the trouble of swapping out all their affiliate links and then having their commissions plummet once we moved to the new site.

    I tell you what, I’m back with e-Junkie and I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s just so simple and so easy to use and I’ve actually been working with them to fix a few sore spots and beef up some of their affiliate program features. They always seem to have an eye toward improving things and they really listen to customer feedback and that’s another thing I like about them.

    Thanks so much for posting, Mary! Love to hear from you. 🙂

  3. Danielle,

    Thanks for sharing so honestly, how courageous you are! One of my new clients asked me to bring more traffic to his website six months ago and it was really not an attractive one, outdated, links didn’t work, etc. So, I began the journey.. He is very happy for the most part, but the host site’s template forces customers to do the exact same thing you have experienced and he states a few of his customers just find it an inconvenience to go through the same process you speak of. The host site states that in order to “track” each sale for ours and the customer’s records, it is necessary. Working on a solution today, and that’s what it’s all about. You give me inspiration to take that “leap” and move forward with perseverance. I liked your store, but have to say it is more convenient to stay with the previous. In fact, I will be purchasing additional items from your store soon. That is how helpful your forms have been for my business.

    Here is to great customer service! (raising my coffee cup) 🙂

    Michelle Kvitek

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