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Thread: Trying to improve - Your Impressions Good/Bad

  1. #1
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    Trying to improve - Your Impressions Good/Bad

    I would like to do better at what I am doing with the Knife Handle Materials business. I figure the best way to figure out how to do that is to listen to what you have to say. Thank you in advance for any advice, encouragement or constructive criticism you are willing to share.

    1st to give a little background.
    I came to It's a Burl in 2005. Worked 1/2 time making items to sell in our galleries and 1/2 time selling wood over the internet. Mostly whole burls and burl slabs on ebay. By 2007 I was working full time selling wood over the internet primarily to guitar builders, artists and furniture makers.

    In 2008 I started focusing on the knife makers and started doing my own wood stabilizing. After a couple years doing my own stabilizing I found that K&G could do better stabilizing for close to the money I was spending on chemicals to do it myself. It was a no-brainer to switch to getting my wood stabilized by a company who was thought of as one of the best in the industry. When I made the change to K&G there was a significant increase in sales.

    In 2011 I started paying more attention to the Kitchen Knife world. Turns out I was oblivious to the fact that a lot of the knife handle wood I was selling was going on Kitchen Knives. After a few of my regular customers invited me here, I visited the Kitchen Knife Forums. I found out that there was a lot that I didn't know about kitchen knives, like everything. You guys have done a good job teaching me. I have several good kitchen knives now and my cooking has improved dramatically.

    Before I joined the Kitchen Knife Forums I was scared to spend the money it took to get the Best of the Best figured woods for handle material. It was from the advice and encouragement of the forum members that I got up the guts to take a chance with the really good stuff. Since I began to carry some of the really high end woods sales volume has had another significant increase. Directly related to the willingness of the people on this forum to give good advice.

    Now that I have made a short story long, I am asking for your guidance again.

    Since I do almost all of my selling through my web store I was hoping to hear your impressions good or bad.
    I know it is having a good impression on some because of the volume of sales.
    But........I think it is leaving a bad impression on some people as well.
    This is what I was hoping to improve.

    Some of this concern is based on analytical reports I have run on my web store. The rest is that I feel that you need to constantly learn and improve or things begin to stagnate. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.

    In my web store.
    Just last month there were 110 abandoned shopping carts.
    This means customers had selected pieces they wanted to get and for one reason or another did not complete the purchase.
    There were also about 20 unconfirmed orders.
    This means customers had added items to their shopping cart, gone through the checkout process but did not complete payment for their order.

    I am not sure what is the cause of this.
    What it means to me is "I am doing something wrong".
    Mark Farley / Burl Source
    Phone 541-287-1029, Email burlsource@gmail.com
    Visit our web store

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    SpikeC's Avatar
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    I have learned to ignore some of the stuff that the web store does during checkout. When going through the process it gets really wonky, butt I can't describe it without going through it again. We have gone over this before and the strangeness then continues, I think that many just give up.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  3. #3
    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
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    I have been very happy and certainly no issues. Wish I could give some helpful negative feedback, but alas have none. You have been very helpful, and I trust what I buy from you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    The abandoned shopping carts–When web-shopping I will sometimes add items to a cart, then go to checkout to see the shipping costs and total. I may not make the purchase, or may come back another day to make that purchase.

    I have not bought from your webstore yet, but plan to soon, so I can't comment on how it works for me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rsacco's Avatar
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    Just a few thoughts...I don't know if 110 abandoned carts or 20 unconfirmed order is high or low without knowing more about your site metrics. Also, I've been through your purchase flow several times and I've come across some issues that make ordering from your site a bit confusing. One example is that I have had problems numerous times when trying to add an item to my cart when the cart contained an item from a previous visit. I've had to go about emptying the cart a couple different ways before I could add the item that I wanted purchase (as opposed to the item in my cart from the prior visit/session). This may be throwing off some of your analytics reports. Lastly, where are you seeing the most fall out in your cart funnel? Payment Method?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlassEye View Post
    The abandoned shopping carts–When web-shopping I will sometimes add items to a cart, then go to checkout to see the shipping costs and total. I may not make the purchase, or may come back another day to make that purchase.

    I have not bought from your webstore yet, but plan to soon, so I can't comment on how it works for me.
    I have not done that on your store, but on others. From what I remember from the last time I bought, there seems to be not as fluid as when you are using the store. Not sure how to put it tho.

    Just went and looked at the check out. I don't know about the software, but maybe if you go through the address and check in before you go to cart, it may seem more friendly?
    Last edited by Crothcipt; 07-03-2012 at 12:23 AM. Reason: just went through your store and left some stuff in checkout. Jk
    Chewie's the man.

  7. #7
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    I have had no issues with your site. I would say that the checkout process is slightly unusual but has caused no difficulties...you definitely aren't losing business when people see your shipping charges :>)

  8. #8
    Sometimes I will add everything and go to checkout to find out the price of shipping. Maybe people don't know the shipping is free.

  9. #9
    Senior Member VoodooMajik's Avatar
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    I had some issues with Checking out via Paypal, but aside from that my sole experience purchasing from yourself was beyond ideal. Free shipping must certainly help.
    It's not the Answer it's the Experience

  10. #10
    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
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    I don't remember having a problem checking out on your site Mark, and I think the navigation on your site is pretty simple and effective.

    I really like the short videos you produce for the more pricey blocks. I think this is definitely worth the effort (hopefully your sales back me up on this). I would like to see you do them for all the blocks on your site. It provides a sense of scale and color/figure that just doesn't come through in still photos.

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