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Amos Publications - New Website  
 

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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 12/06/2017   12:05 pm  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add Stamps1962 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
https://www.amosadvantage.com/

Apologies if someone else has posted on this, I couldn't find anything.

About half my searches end in blank pages. Anyone else feel a sinking 'here we go again' feeling here?
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Posted 12/06/2017   1:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jkjblue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It took me about 20 minutes to get back on line with them. One needs to use one's email address for a name. And then my old password didn't seem to work. Had to set a new password.

One thing going for them is there new presentation has a very low bar to hurdle in order to be considered successful, as their old presentation was horrific.
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Classical era collecting with the Blues
http://bigblue1840-1940.blogspot.com/
Edited by Jkjblue - 12/06/2017 1:29 pm
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Posted 12/06/2017   1:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DJCMHOH to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
New website sure is pur-dee.

Now Amos..let's get something digital based on a database-search for the online catalogs that includes not just the basic 6 vols Scott Standard but also the contents of the specialized USA and the World Classic Specialized (check Michel Online, hint hint) and I'll be one happy collector, esp if it is based on monthly subscription and receives updates on new issues as reported in Linn's once a month.

(humming "To Dream The Impossible Dream" as I write this....
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APS #173088
Check out my philately blog at http://djcmhphilately2.blogspot.com/
Edited by DJCMHOH - 12/06/2017 1:36 pm
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Posted 12/06/2017   2:03 pm  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Why does Amos always do this stuff just before Christmas and mess up ordering for the Holidays? They could have done this in September and by now the bugs would have been fixed.
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Posted 12/06/2017   2:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I consider the new look as an improvement. The most obvious negative seems to be the searches. Before you could just search "mounts". Now you are always searching the entire store even if you select a group.
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Al
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Posted 12/06/2017   2:44 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am sure that Amos is quite aware that they needed a website which was responsive and could be used on mobile devices to order product and services.

The latest online commerce statistics are overwhelming; nearly 75 percent of US adults will use a smartphone in 2017. Thanksgiving 2017 online retail sales hit nearly $3 billion. Mobile phone users accounted for 46 percent of visits to e-commerce websites on Black Friday, this was an astounding doubling over last year's numbers.
Don
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Posted 12/06/2017   2:53 pm  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The search function is indeed bad. I entered as specific a search as I could for a Minkus reprint product and still came up with 15 pages to click through, it still pulled in Scott page products.
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Posted 12/06/2017   3:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I haven't used the "Search" function, but by way of comparison on most retail websites that I've used, the Search function simply does not work well. So Scott/Amos is not alone in this regard. I'm not sure why a Search function is so hard to get to work correctly?

As for the new Amos Advantage website, itself, I think it's great. I just spent some time on it, and I think I've figured out where most things I'm interested in are located. It just takes a little practice. Here are a few comments:

If you open the "Blank Pages" option you're given a choice of "Scott" or "Minkus" which seems like a good idea. I'm not sure why they don't sell other blank pages, by the way, Schaubek for example. They do sell their National album in a Schaubek printed format in aSchaubek binder. So you'd think they'd also sell Schaubek blank pages. But that's not reaally a website issue. More of a product issue.

One oddity on this blank pages section is that for Minkus blank pages with headings, the website shows an actual image of the page you'd be ordering with its heading. For Scott blank pages with country headings -- for example, blank pages with "Belgium" as the heading -- it doesn't. Instead, you get an image of the title page that goes on top of the actual blank pages in the packet for each country. That's a completely different thing. And it's a bit lazy since someone obviously chose to scan the packet rather than removing an actual blank page from the packet.

"Binder Labels" has a new option -- Custom Labels. But they're $9.99! And you have to phone Amos to order. Are they worried you might misspell the name of whatever label you want? This strikes me as a little odd.

The tab "Binders & Pages" includes only blank pages. It does not include album pages which is what I assumed it would show. Why not call it "Binders & Blank Pages" then?

I found actual album pages a little hard to find. So hard, in fact, I had to phone Amos and ask for some help. For Scott Specialty pages, you go to "Albums & Supplements" (since page sets are apparently considered "supplements," not "pages"). There you will see various brands of "Supplements" listed along the top of the page along with a tab for "Album Sets". The latter is for pages with binders, the entire album. If you want pages only, you need to select "Scott Supplements" which is not what I'd think to do. Under that tab, you're shown a group of boxes with regional names. Select the region you want, and then you can locate the page sets you want. Initially, this confused me, but now that I know, it's easy.

On the whole, it's a good improvement on their old website, but it may take a few minutes of poking around to locate things the first few times you use it.

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Edited by DrewM - 12/06/2017 4:14 pm
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Posted 12/07/2017   02:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Oops! Amos' new website actually does have Schaubek blank pages. They're under "Albums & Supplelments" -- "Schaubek Supplements". I missed them.

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Posted 12/07/2017   08:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I gave up trying to find Scott Specialty Blank Pages.
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Posted 12/07/2017   08:34 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Dudley,
When I search using the keyword 'blank' I got about 6 pages of the Scott Specialty pages. I do wish they would add more flexibility to their search. An 'advanced' search page would be nice where users could refine and filter on more complex searches.
Don
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Posted 12/07/2017   08:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add paulyann to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A slight improvement over the previous version, but still woefully inadequate. It is on a par with the USPS website, which means I usually look elsewhere for what I need.
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Posted 12/07/2017   09:33 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

The site gets a grade of ‘B-' in my opinion. It is a significant upgrade and puts them in a much better position for moving forward to capture mobile users. Even if you do not have a smart phone or tablet you can emulate e how a website look like by resizing your browser window…



They are using a free, open source CMS platform (Orchard) which is a good choice for them. This platform has some larger users such as Domino Pizza and Lexus websites. It supports modular features, workflows, and enough CMS that, if implemented correctly, allows AMOS ‘office folks' make website edits without impacting the underlying code functionality. Security is fair.

Design-wise, the site has the basic cookie-cutter look typical for canned templates (like WordPress). Nothing wrong with this as long as they do not mind their site it looking like every other website out there. But navigation is weak and needs improvement. While the navigation menu is mobile compliant it totally missed the target by being overly ‘deep' and too many menu items. Here is an example of a three ‘deep' menu which will drive mobile users nuts…



Responsive design is more than just dynamically resizing the display, it means building things like the navigation with fat fingers in mind.

And as was previously mentioned, the search feature is sorely in need of improvement. It look to me like the current search feature was someone's ‘first pass' development effort. The core and basic search engine in place but much more work needing to be done to make is much more useful. They may be waiting to get all the content published (i.e. publications sections) before they flush out the search feature OR they may going to offer a much more powerful search functionality with a paid subscription.

It will be interesting to see how quickly they get the rest of the site competed. They have the potential to put into place one of the best philatelic websites online. They finally have the right platform and if they figure out that they now need to populate enough free content from decades of publications that own, they will drive huge amounts of users to their website. And once they have the traffic, developing tie-in sales and profit centers will be easy.

The key will be finding the balance between giving away content to develop traffic and building slick features which will entice some to subscribe and/or buy stuff.

APS ought to be watching this very closely. But I am glad to see Amos coming up to speed, even if it is many years late.
Don
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Posted 12/07/2017   6:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
When I search using the keyword 'blank' I got about 6 pages of the Scott Specialty pages.


Don, I was looking for the generic blank pages (i.e., not country- or album-specific) for Scott Specialty binders, such as can readily be found at many other sites, for example ihobb https://www.ihobb.com/mm5/merchant...._code=ACC110 which I got to with the simple search "Scott specialty pages blank." Either the Amos site does not offer this product, which would be curious, or else it's buried somewhere with poor tagging.

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Posted 12/08/2017   03:41 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I can sympathise. It's amazing how many stamp-related websites are hard to use, and thus depress sales. You KNOW the company stocks the item, but it either fails to list it on the site or doesn't tag it properly. With Dauwalder, I've partly returned to ringing them up using their paper catalogue.
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Posted 12/08/2017   06:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I know Amos will respond by email fairly quickly on specific questions. Most hobby places probably do not have a lot of expertise on web sites.
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Al
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