We want your feedback on the Lulu storefronts. What do you love? What do you hate? What would you like to see? Do the current storefronts help you sell more books? Stop by the forums and let us know what you think!
My MET Press storefront is at http://stores.lulu.com/modernenglishtanka It is actually our primary retail sales point for our dozens of titles. The storefront works well for MET Press but there are some simple improvements that would greatly improve shoppers’ experience (i.e., increase sales!).
1. The storefront needs to be linked to by name (viz., “MET Press” or “Modern English Tanka Press”) when a shopper follows either the link to a product page (where the link back is the author’s name, not useful when dealing with multiple authors) or the ADD TO CART link where the shopper must guess whether the CONTINUE SHOPPING link will take him/her back to MET Press.
2. On the storefront, allow the shopper to ADD TO CART without having to leave the storefront for each item. Our shoppers buy more than one title from us at a time.
3. Add a “More Details” pop-up window for each title where we can post critical reviews and other materials to sell the title. Being limited to the 1,000 character blurb is a tremendous restraint on marketing. We have product pages at http://www.themetpress.com to serve this purpose, but it is bad business to draw the shopper away from the selling page to another site.
4. With dozens of titles, having a single page storefront is problematical (too much scrolling up and down). I have tried the multiple page option now provided by Lulu only to find the “wizard” divides the pages by its own formula (whatever it may be). That is useless. I would like, for example, to have separate storefront pages for our books and our periodicals, with the ability to arrange each page as wanted. That would have to include obvious links to both pages on both pages, otherwise, the second page will get effectively lost to the shopper. What I mean is, e.g., some tiny little link at the bottom of page 1 like ” 1 | 2 | Next” will never be seen by many browsing shoppers. Highly visible top of the listing links like “Page 1 Books” and “Page 2 Periodicals” is what is needed.
5. I have been publishing on Lulu since 2005 and the single most common complaint I hear from shoppers is having to log in to buy. I believe this is a perception problem for people who are uncomfortable buying online. The term “log in” suggests to such people that they are “joining” Lulu (it is nonsensical, but I hear this year after year). I suggest that there should be a “sign in” with password facility right on the storefronts, very low key. People sign on to other sites without this threshhold nervousness. Just keep it very low key and right up front in the process.
Those are the main issues as I see them. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
best wishes, Denis Garrison, The MET Press