It's 2018 and time for a new website. Our old website has been bogged down by dozens of issues, and trying to tackle those issues while keeping up the day to day maintenance on the business, while also working a 9-6 day job, has just proven to be too much.
We've been in business since 2014 but initially only sold on BoardGameGeek. We received our first website order on July 7th 2015, and as of this writing, have received 1029 website orders to date. That's 1029 orders over 928 days, or around 1.1 orders per day. That's abysmal. We've always known our site needed a drastic improvement but while some improvements were made, others we never managed to get past.
We have over 3000 products but half of them don't have images and descriptions. We occasionally added more here and there but quite frankly the process was a pain, plus outsourcing to India meant frequent problems such as Onirim and Onirim (Second Edition) being mixed up. So we kind of just let the site hold onto over 1500 products with no information motivating a sale. Plus it's just a visual turn off.
Site navigation is crawlingly slow, making the process painful. You know you have a speed issue when even as the owner of the site you'd rather not have to try to visit. It's easier to check our internal inventory system then trying to just check the product page. Our conversion rate was 0.1%. An average eCommerce conversion is 1%-2%. We were under performing industry standards by a factor of 10-20x. Impressive in a kind of sad way.
Because of the platform we were on and our inventory management system, we were only able to update our inventory once a day. Not only that but even that once a day would frequently have timing out issues (it was a 3 hour sync), causing our inventory be out of date sometimes a few days behind. This led to frequent purchases that we had to cancel due to outdated inventory and being out of stock.
I can keep going but you get the idea. We had a website but oh what a website. So in late 2017 we finally decided to replatform and start again. It took some time but as of March 2018 we finally have a working site up and running. Admittedly with under 50 products, but that will rapidly change. Every created product will have a picture and description. We're slowly adding product attributes such as play time, mechanics, publishers etc. The speed is great right now and will be closely monitored in order to ensure that it stays great. The inventory is a live sync to our inventory management system, meaning that the delay between live inventory and the site is now measured in minutes instead of days.
We're going to keep our current site going until we have enough of a product base loaded that it makes sense to switch, likely around the 1000 product mark. Heck, despite having over 3000 product listings on the site, we've only ever had sales on 719 distinct games anyway. So we'll be picking the most popular sale items we have and loading them up.
This is where you come in, if you've ever spent time on our site then first of all, thank you for putting up with us. And secondly, what do you want us to change? What would make your shopping easier, what would make you want to come back a little more often? We're in the process of redoing everything, so your feedback is welcome. We obviously can't do everything, but it can all go in a checklist. Some of it we may get to right away, and some of it might take some time. But at the end of the day, it's you guys who have continued to put up with the site and that means it's you guys whose feedback would be most helpful.
Drop us a line using the Contact Us, we'd love to hear from you.
Here's hoping to a game filled 2018,