Welcome to the #FridayFlopFix website review. During this holiday season, I'm shopping for a few websites that have problems: websites whose features could easily turn them into a flop and hurt their business.
I started my search with the query "jewelry gifts in huntington wv" and was given these results from Google:
I chose C F Reuchlein Jewelers from the above local 3-pack. Their website is http://cfrjewelers.com/.
Initial Reaction to Website
This is what I saw when arriving on the website:
(click to enlarge)
I hate these email pop-up invitations because they want to know who I am and how reach me before I even get a chance to look at them. It's akin to asking someone out on a second, third, and forth date when you've only met them 10 seconds ago, and yet to even get their name.
Many websites use these pop-up messages to entice newsletter signups, but they are much friendlier if you delay their appearance somehow. You could use a timer to delay their appearance by 20 seconds, or you could use a browser cookie to make it appear after they click through to a second page.
Speaking of browser cookies, this pop-up wasn't smart enough to recognize if I was already signed up. Even after signing up for their email, I still saw that pop-up every time I went back to their home page. This certainly is a flop that needs fixing.
Wedding Jewelry Catalogs
The next flop worth noting is their top menu. They use the word "Bridal" when it should say "Wedding Jewelry" as you can see here:
The word bridal is an industry term that consumers do not use when searching for jewelry. The typical consumer will search Google for "wedding jewelry" or "wedding engagement rings" rather than "bridal jewelry."
Clicking each of the names in that drop down menu then leads to a landing page like this one:
Clicking the "Browse our collection" link then leads to this page:
This is nothing more than the Gottlieb & Sons website embedded within the CF Reuschlein site. Sadly, right at the top of the G&S site there's a "Where to Buy" button.
This setup is a complete flop in my book. Before embedding any website within your own, you need to consider if the site has value for a customer, and if there's any chance that the embedded site will lead to a potential loss of that customer. Certainly that "Where to Buy" button provides a way for a customer to locate a different retailer.
There are two ways to fix this flop. First, you could ask your vendor if they have a way to embed a catalog without any tools or links to other websites. The second, and my preferred, option is to load that vendor's products into your own catalog.
How Often Do You Look At Your Site?
I assume they do not look at their website often; otherwise, they would have noticed the "forbidden" message in their Jabel catalog shown here:
The simple fix for this is to remove the page from their website, or they could create their own product catalog populated with the Jabel wedding collection.
Of course this problem occurred because Jabel changed their website and broke the referring link from the cfrjewelers.com page. They could update the referring link and reactivate the functionality of this page.
Nothing Ever Comes Soon Enough
There are several other flops that could use fixing on this website, but the last one I'd like to point out is a coming soon page I found linked from their estate jewelry page shown here:
The red arrow points to the "Browse Our Collection" link, which leads to the page shown in this partial screen grab here:
The time stamp of this page says it hasn't been updated since March 7, 2014. At the time of this writing, that was 20 months ago. That's a long time coming, and customers have stopped waiting.
Don't ever let yourself fall into the same trap of putting a coming soon page on your website. Simply wait until you have the time and resources to finish a page before activating it on your site.
That concludes my suggested Flop Fixes for this week, I'll see you next time...
FTC Notice: I randomly choose this website and won't be telling the retailer jeweler that I'm giving them these flop fix ideas. Unless someone else tells them, they will only find out about this Nugget if they use Google Alerts or examine their Google Analytics and Google Search Console. I'm not doing this to solicit business from them, but rather as an educational exercise for everyone. This #FridayFlopFix is completely impartial and all my comments are based on previous experience in my website design and marketing agency, and from my personal research data.