Friday, September 28, 2007

Special Sales!

New Items in the Special Sales Category! Including the Summer Pitcher & Tumbler set, originally $54.99, now only $49.49! Other items on sale include, the Large Ladybug Tote, the Ladybug Citronella Candles, the Ladybug Sock Coin Purse, the Purple Dazzle Photo Stand, the Purple Dazzle Magazine Rack and more!

Take advantage of these low prices while they last!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Building the "Catalog"

One task that takes up a considerable amount of time at the LadyBug Shop is entering information about our products into our website catalog. Each time we add a new product to our inventory I take a digital photograph of it and Zoe or Rhonda writes a description of the product. We add these to the website by means of a form that is provided as part of our “shopping cart” software. Whenever we need to enter or edit information on our products, check customer orders, or undertake other administrative tasks, we enter our website using a special website access point that is password protected. (Since we work on the website at the same time as customers may be shopping on it you may occasionally notice our presence. A new product may suddenly appear for a few minutes with incomplete information, then disappear, and later reappear in complete form!)
While the product description needs to convey essential information about product price, size, materials, colors, etc. it also needs to written to “sell” the product. Thus whenever possible we try to provide other information that attract the customer’s interest. And we try to write the text descriptions in a friendly, informal and enthusiastic manner that we hope our customers will like.
With so many products on the LadyBug Shop website we have tried to make shopping more convenient by breaking the products down into categories—books, jewelry, apparel, kitchen decor, garden items, etc. In some cases, as our selection has grown, we have even introduced sub-categories, such as Necklaces, Bracelets, Rings, etc., in the Jewelry category. Often products fit into more than one of these categories. Fortunately, our shopping cart software lets us easily put a single product into multiple categories without re-entering the information for each category. We also have the ability to show “related” products which helps in “cross selling”. And we even have a product search facility, which you can find at the top of the home page.
For special holidays, to highlight items we have placed on sale, and to show customers those items that we feel are most popular or that have recently been added to our catalog, we have created special categories where we cross-list them so that they can be displayed in these special categories.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Disappearance of the 9 Spotted Lady Beetle

The disappearance of the 9 Spotted Lady Beetle, known as Coccinella novemnotata, was little known to me until I read this wonderful article by Krishna Ramanujan. The article briefly talks about the reasons why the 9 Spotted Lady Beetle may be declining, and a proposed bill in New York to change their state bug, which is currently the 9 Spotted Lady Beetle. Check it out at It turns out that you can even take a class at Cornell University about the Search for Lost Ladybugs!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hosting the Website

After you get your website named and built, and before you share it with the world, you need to find a “host” for the website. This is a service that many computer service companies provide, so that you will need to find one that best meets your needs—that is unless you are big enough to want to own and operate computer servers yourself. If you want to learn more about hosting, a good place to start are the Wikipedia article on hosting at and the articles on hosting found at .

In our case we once again turned to our known local providers—Scott Livingood and While you can have this service provided from almost anywhere—one of the intriguing features on the Internet is that it is not location bound—you may, like us, prefer knowing the company and people with which you are working. It is especially useful to know the name and telephone number of someone you can call if you have problems.

You should shop around to make sure that you are paying a reasonable amount for this service. Hosting should not be a big expense for a small Internet retailer (several hundred dollars a year)—but you definitely need reliability. There will be service interruptions occasionally—and these are costly since you can not sell anything if customers can not access your website. And it is a hassle to change a host if the company you are using provides poor service or goes out of business. So you should consider both cost and reliability when you select your host. (Company size, length of time in business, existing client base, reputation, etc. are things to consider.) And you should insist that you are notified immediately any time there is an interruptions in service—either planned (for maintenance) or due to unexpected problems with the computer server.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Halloween Costumes

Halloween is just around the corner, so don't wait until the last minute to order your little one's Halloween costume! My personal favorite is the Ladybug Cape Costume, it is great for ages 3-9, it is so soft and adorable your little one will never want to take it off! Another costume LadyBug Shop offers is the Ladybug Vest, which can be paired with black leggings and a black turtleneck to complete the look. And for our tiny ladybugs, the Little Ladybug Costume, which fits infants up to 25 pounds. Don't forget the treat bag! To make your Halloween even more special order the Ladybug Personalized Tote to put all of the candy in, or if you prefer a smaller bag the Ladybug Goody Bag, or the Daisy Goody Bag. Have fun Trick or Treating!

Friday, September 7, 2007

LadyBug Shop is a merchant of

If you haven't been to yet, you have got to take a look! It allows consumers to enter in information about the person they would like to buy a gift for, including, gender, occasion, age, etc and it narrows it down for you. It even let's you look in the price range you would like to purchase the gift for! If you are like me I have a hard time figuring out what to buy people, unless they are ladybug fans...and this new tool helps immensely! We here at the LadyBug Shop thought it was so wonderful we have become a merchant of!

Building Our Website

When we first started the LadyBug Shop we knew very little about websites and eCommerce. Fortunately, we knew Scott Livingood, a local website designer. Several years earlier Scott had built an “advertising” website for us for another business. This time the job was bigger—since we wanted to sell our products via the Internet we needed a “catalog” and “shopping cart” in addition to information about the shop and about ladybugs. Scott’s solution was to divide the website into two parts. For the purely informational pages (which includes the home page) he used a popular user-friendly software called FrontPage. A good description of this software is provided at Wikipedia. The plan was that I would also learn to use FrontPage so that I could make changes to this portion of the website any time I wanted to do so. Unfortunately, I have still not found time to study the program, so I still have to ask Scott to make changes when they are necessary. (But I have the FrontPage manual and plan to study it some day!) For the shopping cart Scott turned to a local software development company,, who had developed excellent “shopping cart” software for small businesses such as LadyBug Shop. (You can find out about this software at Their shopping cart allows Zoe and myself to easily add product photos, descriptions and sales information whenever we have new products. And it takes care of putting together orders as customers select items from the catalog. It provides a number of other useful services such as handling credit card and shipping information and allowing customers to use discount codes that we have promotions or special sales. We have been very happy with our website and like having worked with local individuals and companies to put it together. Today we keep about 500 products in our website catalog—which makes us the largest provider of ladybug products on the World Wide Web!

Fun Ladybug Game