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Go Back   Pollensa Forum > GENERAL > General Feedback

General Feedback Use this area to provide general feedback on the PuertoPollensa.com web site. Suggest new sections, tell us what you like and don't like.

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  #1  
Old 08-02-2010, 16:16
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Default Zed and the Art of running the WiggleThump Shop

Once upon a time there was a young-ish lady called Zed. She worked hard during the day in a large shop that sold Insurance & Financial advice but every year she would go away & practice her favourite hobby WiggleThumping. All her family were enthusiasts too. Occasionally Zed wished that it was easier to find information about WiggleThumping & where she could buy the kit she needed. She had even thought about writing a book about it.

Unfortunately in January 1999 Zed found out that she was very ill. She had to take a year off work & spent most of the time in & out of hospital receiving treatment. Her hair fell out & she put on a lot of weight. Fortunately she got better, her hair grew back, she lost most of the weight and could have gone back to work in early 2000. She decided not too. She wanted to try something else. For a while she worked in a friend's shop, and also made & sold greetings cards. She had had to cancel her WiggleThumping trip in 1999 but went back again in 2000. Early in 2001 she hit on an idea. By chance her husband had registered a shop name 'The WiggleThump Shop' but hadn't taken it any further. Zed had worked in a large shop but had never run her own. She decided to give it a go.

In April 2001 Zed opened the doors to a very basic shop. She had decorated it herself & it looked rather amateurish. She decided that she wanted it to contain anything a WiggleThump enthusiast would need and so started by but putting up lots of useful information & providing books for people to read.She didn't yet have anything to sell so she invited people who rented WiggleThump (WT) equipment to advertise in the shop for a small fee. After a while major suppliers of WT items started asking her to sell their goods in exchange for commission and other specialists paid her to promote their services. The shop started getting very busy & filled up with WT enthusiasts. Many of them wanted to talk to her & ask her questions about WT but Zed was so busy running the shop on her own that she didn't have time to talk.

The First WiggleThump Club
In May 2001 the first WiggleThump club was born. As Zed was new to running a club, she rented a room in the EZ Club building. The rooms were already set up with chairs for members & notice boards where people could post questions & others could answer them. She decided to have different notice boards to tie-in with the different sections of her shop. The Club was very successful & Zed popped in to look at the notices whenever she could & rearrange them to make it easier for new members to find things. Quite often the Club members wanted to socialise & discuss other things. Twice Zed created a special social area but each time arguments broke out among a few members and things got unpleasant. Zed found it very difficult trying to keep an eye on the Club area whilst running the shop. Fortunately J helped out with the WT club & eventually she created her own club in the EZ building called the Cafe which was great fun & more laid back than the WT club. Zed dropped in from time to time when she could.

Revamp of the WiggleThump Shop
In 2003 Zed decided that the Shop needed a makeover. She subcontracted a shop designer to create a smart new shop front & interior. At the same she paid a lot of money to a shop building to company to renovate the premises and provide her with some invaluable back-room systems to help her manage the shop including accounting & stock control. She still ran the shop on her own but she now had help from M. who found her new suppliers who wanted their goods & services displayed in the shop. The shop was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whenever Zed went away she needed access to CCTV wherever she was to keep an eye on it.

The shop continued to grow as did the Club. Many members joined the club but they weren't really aware of the Shop associated it with it even though there were lots of signs & directions to it in the Club room. Zed also found it quite annoying when suppliers of WT kit which she didn't sell joined the club & tried to sell the kit directly to the members. Some even disguised themselves as WT enthusiasts in order to recommend their own items.

The New WiggleThump Club
Late in 2007, the EZ building where the WT club was housed was taken over by the Y company. The Y company had big ideas and wanted to make the clubs much more social & introduce dating facilities! Zed didn't think that was appropriate for the WT Club & took the opportunity to set up her own club. In Feb 2008 she took on the lease of an empty shop next to the WT Shop and furnished it with chairs and notice boards. One night she closed down the original club, moved all the notices on to new boards and then invited the old members to join the new WT Club. The Club was as busy as ever. Occasionally there was the odd disagreement amongst the enthusiasts but on the whole it was going well.

Hard Times
In September 2008 Zed noticed that sales in the shop were lower than the previous year - the first time this had happened since she had started. Throughout 2009 sales of WT items dropped. The number of visitors to the Shop & the Club was as high as ever but fewer people were buying. They complained about the prices and decided that they could have just as much fun OompaLumping and it was cheaper. Zed worked harder than ever trying to promote the shop, offering discounts and advertising sales. She even wondered about opening an OompaLumpa shop but didn't have the time to even think about it. She saw how many members and visitors the Club got but few of them actually came into the shop to buy. A lot of them already owned their own kit and didn't need any more. They just enjoyed discussing WT with fellow enthusiasts. She displayed lots of WT items on shelves in the Club room & put advertisements & signs on the notice board directing people to the door between the Club and the Shop but not many came through and very few bought anything.

In February 2010, Zed came home from a WiggleThump trip. She now had both J. and S. to help out in the Club and she was very grateful. Ever so often members posted on the wrong board or added a few silly comments but nothing major. A few members complained that they didn't like being told what to do but just as many others told Zed how useful they found the Club. A small minority started complaining about the Club room itself compared with other clubs. They thought it was outdated and that music and plasma TVs should be provided. They felt they were entitled to better premises since Club members and visitors must be contributing to the profits of the WT shop.

Zed felt very sad. She had worked so hard to keep the Shop going and providing the Club free of charge. She actually wanted to give the Shop another makeover but she couldn't afford it this year. The Club was expensive to run and membership was free. She had hoped that the large number of members and visitors would have increased the sales. But when she analysed the visitors for the past month only 13% of the Club visitors actually visited the main shop. 70% of the visitors to the Shop actually came in via the High Street as the Shop was very visible and she also did quite a bit of advertising. Other customers came from elsewhere but only 5% of the Shop visitors actually came from the Club.
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  #2  
Old 08-02-2010, 16:24
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Seems to me that Zed should have set up a website to promote her goods .... websites are cheap to establish, everyone is doing that nowadays - she missed a golden opportunity to make some money!
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2010, 17:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sun Properties View Post
Seems to me that Zed should have set up a website to promote her goods .... websites are cheap to establish, everyone is doing that nowadays - she missed a golden opportunity to make some money!
Now I know that I am a bear of very little brain, Sun, but I thought that was exactly what Zed did - set up a website to make a living doing something she loves!

And I think that people discover the website first - and then get hooked into Zed's "Club". They come to the website to find out as much as they can about Wigglethumping i.e. all the permanent stuff on the website and then discover the joys of the forum....... As to being technically up-to-date, maybe at this point in the economic cycle there isn't the cash flow to justify the investment? Also, speaking as a non-technical person, I am wary of links - scared of spam and/or viruses!
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2010, 18:16
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Sorry I have re-read and cannot see any reference to Zed starting up a website so I stand by my earlier comment - seems to me she opened a 'Club' however, perhaps this was not kept up to date. Had it been there could be a better than 5% conversion rate - who knows how this 5% figure was established as a word of mouth suggestion to view the shop could not, surely, be recorded or perhaps the club members never recommend anyone to the shop - which I doubt. So far as being wary of links that is your prerogative however for some it would be nice to have this facility. I note that Zed indicated the club was expensive to run but a similar posting (regarding a website forum) some time ago did indicate that it made some money plus there is no reference to the current shop income. Sometimes businesses have to have loss leaders to exist - without these loss leaders maybe the whole thing would dry up.
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2010, 18:20
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It's probably me who's misunderstood. I thought PuertoPollensa.com was the website she set up.
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2010, 18:23
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Dear Zed,

I must admit I usually go straight to the 'club'. However, today I had a good look round the shop and picked quite a few things I might like. Must remember in future to go shopping before chatting in the club.

Jan
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2010, 18:30
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Default Zed's shop

Just been into Zed's shop. Going to book my taxi with Zarza. Might take a trip with the No Frills Excursion and found a very interesting site about the roman archaelogical ruins just outside Alcudia!

Jan
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  #8  
Old 08-02-2010, 18:40
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SunP,

I'm sorry if you are confused (or are you just winding me up?) but from the other responses I think that other members understand that I wrote a 'story' to explain the connection between the main Website puertopollensa.com (the Shop) and the forum.puertopollensa.com (the Club) as I had the feeling that a lot of forum members, especially new ones, don't realise that the list of pages on the left-hand side of the screen actually go to the main website (the doors).

With regard to not having the facility to post images, videos or links, ofcourse you do - we just don't offer the facility for you to upload them from your own PC. Many members post their photos to flickR or elsewhere & then link to them in their posts. You can do the same for youtube videos or any other websites that are of interest.

Here is a link to the 'Shop' - http://www.puertopollensa.com/latest-deals.html.

With regard to the 5%, as these are websites, I do have the figures to show where the visitors come from. When you complained about the facilities offered on the forum, I checked these figures & found that the number of visitors to the main website who came directly from the forum (last month) was only 5%. 70% come from Search Engines, mainly Google. The rest came from various other sources or direct i.e. typed the address into the browser address bar.

There is a small amount of advertising on the forum itself - mainly Google Adsense - which generates a few pence a day and by no means covers the cost of running the forum. As you say it is a loss leader. I am happy to provide the forum free of charge for those who enjoy using it but I cannot justify the cost of upgrading it at the moment.
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  #9  
Old 08-02-2010, 19:11
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Fully understand however if you choose to call yourself Zed and refer to the Shop/Club/Doors I can only respond likewise i.e if your posting had been specific to puertopollensa.com then I would have replied accordingly. I reiterate that the download facility in particular is out of date which I think you accept. If I am viewing a post on the forum regarding say a restaurant in PP there is nothing easier than taking a pic of the restaurant/my food on the blackberry/Apple and immediately posting this. I tend not to carry my PC or even a laptop around when in PP.
I fully accept your 5% figure however my point was that there must be a lot of forum members (I am indeed one of them) who recommend your site to 'others' - this word of mouth recommendation cannot be recorded and it is, in my opinion, the best form of advertising. My point here is that IF the 'shop' is making money it would be nice to think some of it could be put into the forum to a) recognise that forum members generally assist in the promotion of the 'shop' and b) in recognition of the fact that the forum does not offer the full facilities that most forums of a similar nature offer. Your own sub-heading states " tell us what you like and don't like" - so I did!
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  #10  
Old 08-02-2010, 19:20
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I think I understand what you are saying re the shop visits Pollensa, but surely a lot of their custom comes from the forum discussing what other members have found good value, interesting excursions, good maps, books etc. and then others going direct to them rather than through the "shop" site. They are still effectively getting custom from the same people aren't they, its just not showing on the shop numbers. e.g. Many times the Palma Aquarium has been recommended and members have then gone and visited - without going to the "shop" and looking at Excursions and Days Out, but they have still gone and the money still spent. Or am I missing a point somewhere. The more members join the forum and discuss places direct, then the fewer will scour the shop links, although these are still a valuable source of information.
Are we at risk of being a product of our own destruction!?
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  #11  
Old 08-02-2010, 19:22
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Oh dear!! Such a shame. I thought it was such a novel way of explaining things.

Jan
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  #12  
Old 08-02-2010, 19:31
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I assume that a fee is paid for each click on a link? Is that how it works? If so what Bella says must be correct. If recommendations are made by forum members and/or experiences shared then the forum must be encouraging people to click on to the links. If this is not the case then something is wrong as much encouragement is given to motivate users to look at the main site.
I for one, have very recently not given details to a member of my villa in Gommar which we rent out but have suggested that they look at the site and find the villa themselves along with others. I felt this fair as we pay to advertise and so do many others. To actively use the forum to push the rental of my villa I considered to be unfair to others who pay to advertise.
I notice many times that a link has been posted relating to car hire, plane tickets, hotels etc etc so there most be a cross over. I also agree that the forum has become the first post of call for information etc with many members directing to the main site.
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  #13  
Old 08-02-2010, 19:31
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SP, i think we are now very well aware that you don't like the club. That is fine, and i respect your right to have your opinion. I am very happy to spend my time here but if one day my opinion changes i will find another club to visit.
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  #14  
Old 08-02-2010, 19:33
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Hi Belladonna,

I take your point & SunPs that people may well visit the PP.com (the'Shop') on recommendation from other forum members.

However if they go direct to the Aquarium (who incidentally do not advertise with us) then the shop doesn't earn any income (or commission). However if they do visit the Shop & then book a hotel then the 'Shop' earns some commission or book a taxi by emailing via the Shop, then the taxi company who pays to advertise with us know that they are getting value for money.

So if money is spent as a result of discussions in the forum, it is going direct to that business but PP.com doesn't earn any of it. If pp.com doesn't get the income then poor old Zed is broke & cannot afford to keep the forum going let alone upgrade it!

So maybe you have a point Belladonna - having an active the forum could actually contribute to the drop in sales. And spending more on it to make it even more attractive will make it even worse. Another reason not to upgrade the forum!
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2010, 19:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eleanor View Post
I assume that a fee is paid for each click on a link? Is that how it works?
Hi Eleanor,

basically the 'Shop' & to a lesser extent the forum, earns income in various ways:

1) The only company who pays per click is Google, so if people click on the google links either in the forum or the main website, then we earn a few pence;

2) Direct advertising - rental owners such as yourselves, plus local & a few UK businesses pay to advertise. Most advertise decide whether to renew their adverts based on the perceived benefit from them as sales are difficult to monitor - although it is easier wth rental bookings. Therefore we give trade advertisers stats on the number of clicks to their websites & any emails sent from pp.com can normally be identified.

3) Affiliate Commission - finally we earn commission when people book hotels, holidays, flights & some car hire via the site.

So we don't earn much for actual clicks on links.


Hope that explains a little about how the 'Shop' works.
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