One of the highlights of my day is reading the message boards. The creativity and the intensity are fantastic. And every once in a while someone will post a picture like this which makes me laugh out loud at its sheer brilliance.
The person who posted is frustrated about the new website. Specifically, he or she feels the website is slow and the design is worse than before. We haven’t discussed the website in any detail before, so I thought I would take this opportunity and give a little background on the issues.
When we set up Adia, we originally hosted it on Godaddy.com. Godaddy is perfect for a startup, because they have a product called ‘Website tonight’, which allows massive customization of a four page template. It allowed us to get a site up and running before Earthfest in Boston, which was the kickoff event for the business.
Godaddy also has a shopping cart and merchant accounts, but the ability to customize the cart really limited our ability to offer things like family packs and bundles. Now that we have four flavors, we wanted to offer something called a ‘Family Pack Plus’, which is all four flavors plus two chews. We couldn’t do that with the Godaddy shopping cart. We also didn’t have analytics on the cart. We couldn’t figure out what the dropoff rate was. How many people were selecting items and leaving the website without buying, which is information we use to refine our product offerings.
We upgraded the front of the website with a professional developer, and we were very happy with the layout, how fast it loaded and everything else. Unfortunately, we were at the highest level of shopping cart, which was perfect for a start up, but not great for what we needed from it.
So last week we upgraded to Magento. Magento is owned by EBay, and is a much better platform for our e-commerce initiative. It has a better shopping cart, better analytics, and it allows us to manage our database on the website, so we can start to send out monthly mailing lists to our customers, offer specials, etc.
Unfortunately, it’s still a work in process as we work through some of the layout issues. In connection with the new layout, we also hired a search engine optimization expert so the website gets picked up better by specific searches, which is why certain formats are funky.
It must be working, since our website traffic is up by about 30%. Or it could be me checking it every 10 minutes. The site should be loading faster, and we’re continuing to make changes to make sure its getting better. We really appreciate all the comments, and if you have specific suggestions, we’d love to hear them.
The other comment, which was wonderful, was about our background. The website and the blog used to talk about how the company was started by two dads. One of the first promotions we did was with the “Daily Pride”, which is a groupon type service designed for the LGBT community (if you don’t know what that means, call Mike Matsie, he’ll explain). They were pretty excited to offer Adia, and we were excited to work with them. We realized after they sent out an offer to their customers what the ‘two dads’ reference meant to that community.
At Adia, we love everyone. But that’s what not what we meant. The other issue we had was that Jenny and April wanted some credit for the work they did, and since we were started by two families, we decided to switch. From now on, it’s two moms.
The other big news is packaging.
What we’ve learned from Sam’s Club is that people are very interested in probiotics, but the price point of $30.00 is too high for an introductory product, regardless of how much someone likes the samples.
So we’ve developed an 8-pack, which will have two sticks of each flavor. We’re calling it the “Variety Pack” and we’ll be launching it next week in Hong Kong Markets. We’ll have two versions. One will be in Chinese, and the other will be in English. We’ll also offer it on the website for people who want to try the product, but don’t want to spend $30.00.
We’ve been working on the design for the last couple of days, and we should have the first mock ups next week.
We’ll be off Monday for President’s day, but we’ll have reps at Whole Foods in Tustin, Huntington Beach and Torrance. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hello. We’ll also be in Sam’s Club through the weekend.