EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 336 - June 02, 2013 - ISSN 1528-6703     6 of 10

EcommerceBytes Web Design Challenge -

By Julia Wilkinson

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Karen Redenbaugh began selling her handcrafted jewelry in 2007 on eBay and has since expanded to include Etsy and her own website, Karen's Artistic Touches. Karen entered the EcommerceBytes Web Design Challenge in the hopes of making her site more appealing to customers, to make it easy to navigate, and to generate more sales. She's hoping to grow her business to the point where she can quit her day job to focus on her passion of making and selling jewelry.

Read more about Karen's Artistic Touches below, see a link to all the finalists in the introduction to the Web Design Challenge, and vote for your favorite in our SurveyMonkey voting booth.

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When did you launch this website, and how long have you been actively selling products from this site?
3/5/2012 is when I first started using this company and website design. I had tried previous companies with little success. I do fairly well selling my jewelry on this site but know that I could do a lot better. I have done everything on my own because I can not afford to pay someone to do any web design or SEO work for me. I am forced to use standard templates and just do not have the resources to learn how to modify or customize these templates. I did pay someone to do a logo design for me in 2012.

Please provide information about where you host the site and the technology that powers the website and shopping cart.
I use BIGCommerce for the site host and use one of their templates for the design. I use PayPal for my shopping cart.

Please provide us with the gross annual sales processed through this site.
Between $1,000 - $49,999

What do you think is the best thing about your website in terms of design?
I really like the category layout of this design.

What elements or features of your site's design do you want to change?
I want the site to take up the whole screen. There is all of this blank space on the edges that could be used. I am not fully satisfied with the item pages. I would also like to have a graphic box at the top of the home page with the free shipping and free sizing that looks more professional than the plain text. I want the site to look exciting so that visitors want to stay and look around.

What are your main goals in redesigning your site? Please be as specific as possible.
To make it more appealing to customers. To make it easy for them to navigate. To help generate more sales. I want the site to look exciting so that visitors want to stay and look around.

How do you currently market your website, and where does your traffic come from?
I use Google Adwords, Microsoft (Bing) Adwords, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other artist sites.

Tell us why should your site be featured in EcommerceBytes Website Design Challenge?
I am a small one person business. I started selling my handcrafted jewelry in 2007. I started selling on Ebay and have expanded to include Etsy and my own website. My business continues to grow slowly. I would like my business to grow to the point that I can quit my day job and focus my energies on making and selling jewelry which is my love and passion. I feel that a great website and SEO modifications will help me to achieve this goal.

Is there anything else you would like to mention about why your site should get a design makeover?
One of my biggest selling jewelry items is my cancer awareness jewelry. As a cancer survivor I know the importance of having beautiful jewelry to show your support and help people have hope in their journey to fighting these horrible cancers. I want to be able to reach more people with this jewelry line. I feel that a better website design will also help me with this part of my business.

About the author:

Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6). Her free "Yard Salers" newsletter is at available at where you will also find her latest ebook, Flip It Again.

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