Ecommerce Marketing Checkup, Part 1: Fiddlesticks

Every month, Volusion assembles a cross-functional team of marketing professionals to evaluate a Volusion store and provide recommendations for boosting their online success. In this round, our team reviewed Fiddlesticks, an online boutique that features adorable children’s clothing. Although Fiddlesticks has a terrific product offering, their store isn’t getting as much traffic or sales as it could. Our team sat down to determine how Fiddlesticks could optimize its marketing approach and achieve more online success.

Take a look at the first part of their detailed recommendations below:

Conversion Optimization: Structuring Your Website for Success

“If you establish a solid structure for your website with the user experience in mind, it will let your customers navigate with ease. This allows the conversion path to be seamless and intuitive. With a few small structural changes, Fiddlesticks can instill trust and authority while improving the user experience.”Natalie Stambro, Volusion Marketing Consultant


Fiddlesticks has a logo that fits their brand and industry. It is playful and fun while still maintaining a sense of professionalism. However, because the background around the logo is not the same color as the website, this can give the impression that the overall website was quickly thrown together and the company is not well established. If your have the same problem but don’t have the design resources to remove the white background behind your logo, a helpful trick is to add more white space around the logo as a frame. Implementing either option will anchor your logo as an intentional element of your site, enhance the clean and professional design you want, but the change is simple to complete.

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To further improve the header, we recommended that Fiddlesticks modify their social media icons and change them to buttons that match the theme of their site, while the current social media buttons can be moved from the header to the footer of the website. This will allow them to be better aligned without dominating over Fiddlesticks’ site tools.

A great example of social icon placement is on the OshKosh B’gosh site:

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With a few small adjustments, Fiddlesticks’ homepage will be the perfect gateway to encourage their customers to browse. One of the first adjustments that can be implemented is disabling “Welcome” on the upper left of the homepage. This doesn’t add value to the website and removing it can help save vertical space.

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The main graphic is appealing and showcases the products, but can be a bit misleading as the graphic doesn’t link to the Spring Collection (as promised in the text). We recommend hyperlinking the image so visitors can start shopping for the same or similar products.

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Directly under the main image there is a promotion directing visitors to “Spend $50 to qualify for FREE shipping!!” Our marketing team recommends emphasizing this promotion more aggressively: Center it under the main image and emphasize the content by either giving it a nice background or bolding the text. The site would also benefit from dropping the extra exclamation mark.

Finally, it is in Fiddlesticks best interests to have featured products on their homepage – as they currently do – since it is another powerful catalyst for the customer browsing (and buying) process. We recommend making the design more symmetrical to keep it organized while reducing unnecessary dead space. If Fiddlesticks’ implements a 3×1 layout but have four featured products, one will be always rotated with the randomization feature – this gives customers the impression products are in constant rotation with new updates being added regularly.

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The navigation is a way for Fiddlesticks to control of movement of its customers. The current navigation is simple, but can be reduced and refined to streamline the user experience.

First, the top navigation can be modified significantly. Fiddlesticks could remove the “home” link in the primary navigation – it is unnecessary as the universal practice in Web design designates that logos are the “fast link” that return users back to the homepage. Also, “Deal of the Week” and “Blog” in the top navigation are primary links, but contain no information. Rather than lead visitors down an empty path, it is better to hide those links until the pages have content and can fulfill on these aspects of the site’s brand promise. (Tip: You can create an offsite blog through a free source such as Blogger or WordPress and link to it from your website.)

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Fiddlesticks’ products currently live on the left navigation when they could be showcased in the top navigation. We recommend deleting the left navigation altogether and placing these categories in the top navigation for an easier user experience (see example below). By relocating these to the top navigation, the site can show subcategories with the use of the “rollover popouts” functionality. This will make the product categories stand out, clean up the website and allow customers to find other products when further down the conversion path.

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Also, if the site removed the left navigation all together, Fiddlesticks would be able to move the credit card and SSL certificates to the footer. The footer is on every page and a common place to locate this crucial security information; customers who need to find it will be able to do so easily.

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Product selection

One of the best ways to encourage buying is to never let users hit a dead end. Ensure all of the site’s categories (Shop Boys, Shop Girls, Sale) have products showcased on the main category page – this way, visitors don’t perceive any parts of the website as empty.

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About Us page

This page can be one that endears visitors to the brand and gives them that extra push to purchase. Fiddlesticks did an excellent job of explaining who the owners are, the mission of their business and giving background.

Return/Shipping policy

Fiddlesticks has set apart their brand by reassuring customers with a 100 percent satisfaction policy. This can help alleviate any concerns shoppers may have. They also clearly communicate their shipping timelines, which is extremely important to online shoppers who may have time-sensitive purchases.

While the store’s shipping prices are minimal to the customer, Fiddlesticks may consider a flat rate shipping option. Some buyers may find a shipping cost that’s 30 percent of the product total to be too costly, which may lead them to abandon the cart. Depending on the exact shipping costs, the store may experiment with a flat rate shipping of $2 if that works with your product margins. On the other hand, some retailers work shipping into their product price and offer free shipping on all items. Test out what works best for your store, and what seems to be more compelling to your target audience.

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Implementing some of these tips can help Fiddlesticks turn more of its visitors into buyers.