I professionally do web apps, branding, user interface design and user experience. Not going to give you a resume here, but I'll just say I do this for a fee for companies you know and that in 2009 my designs have been used over 10 million times, so my comments are a bit more critical.
Overall looks good. It seems like a generic Joomla theme with the shopping component installed on it.
- Branding wise: You really need a well-branded logo and typography. There is no need to theme your site after the Italian flag scheme or map - as long as the logo/header is well branded enough. Unfortunately the Italian flag colors have no relationship to your theme's other elements which are all gray. Moreover, these colors are lackluster when it comes to converting pre-qualified users to transactions. There us an entire science on which colors to use where in order to control the conversion of visitors to monetized transactions. The effect of dark green is actually to reduce excitement. (hmmm... ever flown Alitalia?) Red is connected with warnings and danger. Moreover, your entire logo and brand typeface should be about 1/4 (or at the most 1/3) of the header's width. Look at the logo size at eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Foodzie, Expedia, Orbitz, buy.com, Overstock.com Etc. Having a giant logo and brand name only serves to deliver the message that you are not confident about your brand and that the brand is not mature, or an uninvested afterthought. Online customers don't get to see your products or interact with you, so they are left to put their trust in nothing more than your brand. Having a brand that looks and feels like a million dollar brand doesn't cost much in reality, but it creates the instant rapport and trustworthiness to remove the trust barriers from a prospective shopper. Don't underestimate this one; Invest a few hundred dollars in this; it will return itself very quickly. It will also help you promote your brand offline and create brand familiarity and establish brand equity in your vertical. You are obviously concerned about trust because I see that you have bothered to put up a number of credit cards and TrustWave seal. The cards are not all the same color (again, having non-professional design actually deter people from shopping more than having the visual be some credit cards). I would actually make all of these much smaller and put them in the footer section. - again, a confident brand does not make any visual statement about whether they are trustworthy or not in such prominent screen real estate area. Keep this area clean or use it for promos.
- Technically: While Joomla is a great open source platform, it does too many things to my taste. Managing all these features and scripts (90% of which you don't need or ever use) translates to a busy server and a very slow website/blog/web app/online store. Your store is no exception. Additionally, I suspect that once your database of users, products and transaction grows, it may be hard to scale up.
- To speed up your store, I would add one of Joomla's speed add-ons. These usually use cache on the server's front end to serve your site quickly without executing each and every request in the server and database or using excessive connections.
- Additionally, I would also install an SEF URL to improve your SEO (search engine ranking). You want your URLs to look nice and neat and to be captured for what they actually mean by search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. This will replace URL like supermarketitaly.com/shop/index.php?page=shop.product_details&product_id=103 with something like supermarketitaly.com/Shop/Cheeses/Asiago/Asiago_DOP_Pressato_Fresh_Aged_60_Days
- Shopping cart does not seem to work. I cannot add anything to it.
- Content, promotion and pricing:
- Most items are missing descriptions. It's is especially strange because some have descriptions
- Check spelling for accuracy. (It's not Expresso, it's Espresso...)
- No discount for quantities? You sell 1 can of coffee for 6.99 and 10 for 69.99
- Add some deals and coupons. I recognized some of the products which I buy here in the city and your price + shipping in many cases was over the deli price. Without a special deal (such as free shipping over some amount), I can find the same products at well-established, trustworthy online stores such as Artisanal, Zabars, Fairway, Murrays, Fresh Direct, Gourmet Food Store etc. I do not suggest to undercut them with pricing, but reward me for choosing you and for buying more from you.
- Add an 'About Us' page. Users want to know who you are and what's your story. Without it you remain suspiciously anonymous. This is important
- Add logos of your shipping partners, use their familiar brand equity to enhance, remind and assure users that their stuff is handled by UPS, FedEx and USPS. Your shipping page points to a standard ground pricing table only. I am sure you don't intend on packing perishable cheese in ice and sending it to a week-long trucking expedition coast to coast.
- Add a Twitter account and promote the store on it. put a "Follow us on Twitter!" thingy on the top of the site.
- Create a fan page on Facebook where you can promote the site and get requests for products. Add a "Become a Fan on Facebook" thingy on the top too
Okay, that's enough. Good luck with all, and keep us posted! It looks like you really have a nice selection and this is done well. The user experience and content architecture are fairly usable, friendly, stable and consistent. I hope this helps.
Yoav Perry (iRatherFly) @YoavPerry