Ramblings of an IT Consultant

Online Shopping: Does the website name matter?

In Customer Service, Online Shopping on November 18, 2010 at 8:34 pm

One of my main roles as a developer is to create online shopping carts for my clients.  The thing is I know some of their concepts are sound.  I also know they have researched the market and their prices are competitive.  We can also get lots of visitors to their sites by using Google AdWords.  So why do these shops never take off?

Quality Meat Online – www.qualitymeatonline.co.uk is a case in question!

This website was created from another website called Foodshack which did not do particularly well either.  Basically the shop is an outlet for a butcher to sell their products online.  This website is currently getting 100 visits a day, with the help of AdWords.  However we have only had 2 orders since the site was launched back in August.  We know there is a market for their products and the price is reasonable.  The website is well designed and comparable to other online stores.   Take www.donaldrussell.com for example,  we know that they turn over millions of pounds a year on their website alone.  Donald Russell are a well-known household name but surely there is a place for sites like quality meat online?

The other thing we can also gauge that because Donald Russell are doing so well they have a massive marketing budget.  They can afford adverts that a small site like Quality Meat Online can only dream about.  But surely the lack of orders cannot be contributed to one or two sites like theses giants.   The market must be large enough for small start-ups?  It’s not like you can have unique meat products, so everyone is selling the same stuff!

Quality Meat Online has a sister site called www.halal-meat-online.co.uk.  This website does reasonably well and take around £200 of orders a day.  Maybe its the niche that makes this website a little more successful than its brother!

It will be interesting to see how these two websites fare over the coming weeks.  They are both about to have adverts placed in the London Metro newspaper and a food magazine called Christmas Feast.  Hopefully that will pull the clients in.  If not I feel my fears might be correct and Quality Meat Online falls flat on its face.  I fear it may be reborn again.  This time with a slightly better name.  Who knows we might get it right sometime!

Have you had any website name failures?

  1. What do you think the cause of the Quality Meat failure is compared to Halal? Does the use of teh phrase Quality Meat possibly make people think it’s bad? I’d be more inclined to buy from Quality Meat than a site called Rancid Meat….. but really…. why is Halal successful and Quality Meat not?

    • I think that Halal meat is more of a niche market. The thing I am wondering is if people like the name of a company that sells meat to be a person or organisation rather than a general name…… Hartleys Burchers as a name sounds better than Quality Meat Online……

  2. or maybe it’s more the fact that it lost a “local” feel. people think of butchers as in their neighborhood — not some internet box store. Maybe quality seems to imply that they aren’t really in the business. What real companies actually have “quality” in their name…

    • I think local is also important. Its hard to find these days unless you search for it. I think thats why some others do well. The butcher mentioned in the article has a local feel even though all of their products may not be local!

    • So all in all it could be the name that is putting people off!

  3. Ian Morrison here from Donald Russell. I remember the days when we had no budget!!! It’s not about budgets or website names.

    Here’s a tip in this modern online age. Start with your product. Is it the best it possible can be; Does it have real point of difference, a usp. And does it have a scaleable market, a group of customers that genuinely want what you are offering? And what are your service levels? Do your clients have a no quibble guarantee on their products? Do they refund without without question if their customers are not delighted with what they receive. Get all this “boring” stuff right and your newly delighted customers will start to tell their friends, I guarantee it. Instant viral campaign.

    • Hi Ian

      Sorry for the late reply. I have been going through the websites with my customer and they agree they need to focus on a USP. They are currently in the process of a re-structure and I think the websites will be one of the next things on their hitlist.

      Just a quickie… If you click on your name it takes you to donnaldrussell.co.uk which is not working or re-directing. Just in case you did not realise (which I am sure you did!)

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