Website IS LIVE
We have finally launched our new website! What a journey that was. This wasn’t our first foray into creating a digital space, but it was the most interesting for us.
This isn’t the only job we’ve ever had. And through the course of our careers there have been multiple occasions when we have had to oversee the construction of a website.
But that has been with big corporate partners involved. In those circumstances the structures are far more rigid, and also much more linear.
When you are building your own online retail environment from scratch, with your own money, you look at it differently. And it’s a living breathing thing that is prone to change pretty quickly, not following a set path necessarily. But we also happen to live in a time where it has never been easier to do this.
Fourteen years ago we attempted to start a clothing company. But back then there was no Shopify for payments. There wasn’t pre-built website templates you could utilize and plug and play your content. It had to be done from scratch.
We had to hire a developer who made everything, and used a plug and play shopping cart system that wasn’t at all robust. The struggle was real and we were totally at the whim of the programmer and their timeline. And when you’re boot-strapping your business (like we are now), you don’t always have the financial clout to demand more action in a timelier manner.
Fast-forward to 2019-2020 and things are different. But they are also somewhat the same. It’s easier to make your own. But so many people are making their own. So standing out is difficult.
As we addressed in an earlier post, we called in help pretty quickly once we realized that was outside of our skill set. So we got help.
The result is one we are happy with. But the process is never as fast as you would like. We’re not the only client, and we’re not even the most important client. That isn’t to say we were treated poorly, not at all, but rather, we had to be patient.
Patience is hard when you’ve got inventory sitting around and you are waiting for sales. But rushing the process would have been the wrong answer. Our design team did an excellent job of taking what we envisioned, via relatively abstract explanations, and creating something we are very proud of.
But even as you inch closer to completion, there are still some key steps you just can’t skip over for the sake of speed. And the number one thing you don’t want to skimp out on is user testing. Take the time to really go through your site.
Check every link. Act as if you are a consumer trying to buy your products. Find out what works and what doesn’t.
We found a few oddities while testing. Some of the images weren’t displaying properly. We realized that our shipping profiles were wonky and you couldn’t ship to anywhere in the world if your order reached $75.
On top of that the free shipping option failed to calculate into the shopping cart. Our blog had formatting issues. And our email capture system needed a few tweaks.
On the surface everything looked great. And we could have made the mistake of launching based on that. But we’re thankful we didn’t.
The end result is one that is far better than we were able to do on our own. And it freed us up to focus on the things in the business that we are skilled at. And that’s incredibly valuable at this early stage when you’re trying to get your feet underneath you.
It was a fun adventure getting this website created. We are happy it is done with! But we are very excited about the end product. We hope you like it too!
Much love for reading and following us on this journey!
FEM Apparel Ltd.