I’m delighted to advise that the new and improved directory is now live!
In the first 6 months of beta testing the directory I’ve collected some excellent feedback, discovered what works and most importantly uncovered what could be improved.
As we now going into the final 6 months of beta testing, we’ve got a brand new system, which (hopefully) solves a lot of the usability issues of the first build.
I am always looking to improve the Directory (as well as Card & Gift Network as a whole) so take it for a test drive and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Here’s What’s New…
Across the site I’ve improved the design and user interface to make the Trade Directory easier to navigate.
As well as improving the main pages, the new designs have also been used on Listings.
Listings have also been given a makeover on Search, Explore and Category pages.
Incorporating the new logo and cover image.
As well as being able to bookmark listings direct from the main pages, users can also now use a “Quick View” function to see a pop up look at each listing.
As well as adding your business to The Trade Directory you can now add events and offers too!
These are perfect for any exhibitions, open studio events or trade show appearances.
Previously all offers were managed via submitting the details where they would be published on a weekly basis to the Directory Noticeboard. This was a little clunky so you can now control offers and post them directly to your business listing at the touch of a button.
As well as being found on Explore, Category and Search pages, the Events and Offers listings can also be found via Business listings.
New listing types can be attached to a Business listing, and accessed via tabs on the header.
Providing a more in-depth look at what a business has to offer.
I’ve ditched the 6 month subscription option (not a single on of our early adopters chose it) and now all the listings will run for 12 months, but the tiers are linked to how much time people want to invest in their listing.
New packages allow businesses to add extra listings for events and special offers; increasing their visibility and increasing the chances to making sales.
Basic (1 listing)
For those who want one simple, hassle-free business listing.
Advanced (3 listings)
This is perfect for businesses that want to boost their Business Listing with events and offers but don’t want to test offers or make changes each month.
Premium (13 listings)
The Premium listing package is ideal for businesses that have a lot to show off. Businesses can have multiple offers running and list several events across the year.
Promotional Keys to Boost Your Listing
For those who want more the Directory now also has “promotional keys”. These boost your listing to featured areas and to the top of the search results. The keys are available to purchase in blocks (7, 14 and 30 days) but can be stopped and re-started at your discretion.
When I first came up with the idea of adding a Trade Directory to the site I was determined to keep it affordable for even the smallest card & gift businesses.
And that’s one thing that hasn’t changed.
Our beta testing period prices are all incredibly affordable; working out less per day than the price of a chocolate bar!
The old system’s image management was, let’s face it, a bit of a muddle (sorry, you live and learn) so I’ve made it super simple.
Now you have 3 separate image upload areas for your logo, cover and gallery images.
I’ve also upgraded the image upload interface so it all happens in the edit screen.
Along with easier ways to upload your cover image, I’ve also updated how your cover looks with key buttons, a logo and tagline.
The cover image has 3 main buttons: “Add Review”, “Bookmark” and “Share”. There’s also 3 dots, which give quick access to edit the listing.
The Tagline provides a quick way to deliver your USP and draw viewers into finding out more.
The cover also has tabs, which take people to the listing’s reviews, events and offers.
As video becomes more and more important in selling your business, I’ve improved that too.
You no longer have to use an embed code to add a video to your business description.
Now there’s a dedicated area where you simply paste the URL or your video and the rest is done automatically.
As well as your “Business Description” you can now have a dedicated section on your listing to highlight “How to Order“.
This can include text information, phone, website and
There’s also a second section where you can add links to your online brochure and order form.
Remembering usernames and passwords is never easy so I’ve built “social login” options into the Trade Directory.
You can still use an email & password to manage your account OR you can choose to sign-in with your existing Google or Facebook credentials.
For those of you with existing accounts (created with your emails) you can add your social profiles in your account details. (There’s a tutorial in the help section to show you how!)
In the old Directory tags were a bit hit & miss, so I’ve given them a bit of an upgrade.
You can now choose from a selection of pre-created tags that highlight important issues for buyers.
There are currently 10 tags, which cover things like “Eco-Friendly Products” and “Takes Commissions”.
As always, this is a work in progress so if there are more tags you want to see let me know in the comments.
The Tags use choose will be shown at the bottom of your Business, Event or Offer listing.
Business Listings now come complete with an “Opening Hours” widget.
If you have a showroom or open studio, or even take enquiries and orders by phone, these will help customers feel confident about when they can contact you.
You can now add more Social Media Accounts to your profile, including Snapchat, Tumblr, Reddit and Linked In, to name just a few.
Alongside improving the Directory I’ve also given the resources area a makeover too!
As well as in-depth help articles, the help section now has mini step-by-step tutorials, which can help you use the Directory and boost your listing.
Fingers-crossed I’ve managed to remember everything that is new.
If you have any questions or feedback on the improvements please let me know in the comments below.