Good comments from the previous posters.
Here are a couple more:
1 - Please optimize your images! Most of the images on your homepage (and virtually all your subsidiary pages) are much larger than they need to be, both in dots-per-inch and in file size. This may not be apparent at first, because they appear to be resizing (don't ask me how) so that their dimensions on the webpages are smaller. All the same, they still take plenty of bandwidth to download. For example - the one on your homepage of a green Planet Earth with a small green car on top (image454.jpg)? It's a full half-megabyte in size, and when downloaded and viewed outside
your homepage, it takes up my entire screen.
I don't have a super-fast internet connection, so I really noticed the delay in downloading your images. At first I thought that the links to your images weren't working or that the images were missing altogether! Some users with slower connections may browse away from your homepage altogether due to this.
2 - This is an arguably picayune point, but the eccentric capitalizing (So Loosen up with a Cup of one of our unique blends of Specialty Loose Tea) may distract some users more than it will charm them. I'm a business writer, so for me, something like that suggests lack of professionalism or at least a failure to proofread. In reality, of course, it's probably an attempt to be lighthearted. This quirk wouldn't stop me from buying from you; but it does suggest something about the company, and the image you're trying to project.
3 - On your main "Contact Us" page, I would expect to see a snail-mail address and a phone number as well as the e-mail address. When I do business via internet, I want to know that the vendor is willing to share their physical location and other contact details, i.e. that they are trustworthy and can be reached in the event of a problem. After all, the vendor wants me to share all my
details - and to send money as well! When someone provides nothing more than a website and an e-mail, I find it hard to have full confidence in them.
This isn't uncommon, by the way. Adagio doesn't provide this information - or at least, although it has some wholesaler information on their website (under FAQ > Other Questions > Do you wholesale to businesses?), the quickest way to get their corporate-headquarters information is to Google for it
All the same, for smaller vendors who are striving to create a good reputation, I think it's important to be up front with this.
4 - When I got to one of your tea "detail pages" and click Buy Now, I thought this would add the tea to a shopping cart. Instead, it takes me to a new page (apparently on a second, ecommerce site) that lists the available teas all over again! I then have to hunt for the tea I want. Note that the order of these teas on the teas page of your ecommerce page (http://shop.lefteas.com/main.sc
) is different from the order in which they appear on the teas page of your non-ecommerce page (http://www.lefteas.com/index_files/Page427.htm
). It might be a better idea to have them organized the same way on both pages. At any rate, once found, I can then add the tea to a shopping cart.
I wonder whether you can't consolidate the information on the non-shopping cart pages so that the shopper doesn't have to go through this extra step?
5 - In any event, when I return to one of your non-ecommerce tea pages, the only way I can get back to the shopping cart is to click one of those Buy Now! buttons. I'd recommend a link in the left navigation pane to "Your Shopping Cart" so that these extra steps aren't necessary. (The top navbar in your ecommerce website says both SHOPPING CART HOME and SHOPPING CART. This is confusing, and not quite right either. The first, "SHOPPING CART HOME", is actually the teas homepage on the ecommerce site - the second is the "true" shopping cart page.)
6 - You may want to state somewhere - ideally on a link from your non-ecommerce homepage - whether you accept orders from outside the continental USA. Probably you aren't expecting many such orders, but for those of us who live further afield, it would be a courtesy to provide this information up front (along with more general shipping-and-returns information). I once spent 10 minutes happily putting items into a U.S. vendor's shopping cart, only to learn at the end of the checkout process
that the vendor didn't ship outside the continental US. I had just wasted half an hour shopping on their site; and there was no word elsewhere on their site that they had posted their shipping restrictions.
In your case, although the Billing Information form includes a State/Prov
field and a Postal
Code field (not Zip/Postal Code!), when I tried creating a dummy order and then going to the next page, all the available shipping options were greyed out. So I'm guessing you don't ship to Canada, despite the fact that we really do have provinces and postal codes
In which case, if you have the ability, it would be a good idea to change those fields to read State and Zip Code instead.
So I think that as far as the ecommerce side of your site is concerned, it would probably be a good idea to test it out a bit.
Hope you don't mind my pointing these things out. I admire your determination and energy, and I really hope you make a go of it!