Business Advice For The E-commerce Entrepreneur
I learned the hard way that a business isn’t made overnight. When I first decided to open my own business in 2015 it took weeks to get my first sale. I thought as soon as I announced I was open for business people would come running through the hypothetical doors of the internet into my shop to buy everything I had. A little unrealistic? Maybe.
In those weeks while I waited for the sales to start rolling in I tried to figure out, “Where I went wrong”. At some point I even thought about giving up because, “It just wasn’t working”.
I didn’t know if it was the product, SEO or my photos. Come to find out it was a little bit of all three.
Here’s are things I learned about improving my business:
1.) Better photos!
I’m no photographer but if I can give you one major piece of advice for having an e-commerce store it’s this; No matter how good you think your pictures are ALWAYS try to make them better. You’re dealing with a market that isn’t able to feel the quality of your product because they’re not local to you. So even if you have a quality product it may not sell because your photos don’t scream “quality product”.
When taking product photos think:
•BRIGHT (No one likes a dark, dreary photo)
•Natural lighting, no shadows
•Show how your product can be used or styled.
•Think outside the box. Take photos that show what your brand is all about.
Let me give you some perspective on this.
I just smoothed out the wrinkles in the shirts, zoomed out, and found some better, natural lighting. You don’t need the best camera on the market or the fanciest lighting. The bottom photo was done on the floor of our shop with my iPhone. I increased the brightness slightly and took down the contrast.
2.) SEO (Search engine optimization)
SEO confused me for the longest time so I’m going to make it real simple.
SEO is the process of how products come up when searched on the internet.
Example: If your SEO is killer and someone searches “Leather Purses” then your listings may come up on the first page of Google, but if your SEO needs improvement they may find your listing on page 75 of Google.
Let’s be honest, nobody is looking through 75 pages on Google, so shoot for the first few pages!
How to improve your SEO
•Better product descriptions
•Add more tags to your listing
•Make the title very descriptive
•Run a marketing campaign through your web host (i.e. Etsy, Shopify, etc...)
Always look for new ways to improve the quality of your product, the price, turnaround time, etc...
Quality: We just recently changed the brand of the shirts we print on. Why? Because the quality of the new shirts are better.
Price/How I price: Most graphic T-shirts you see at retail stores can range from $15-$30. So automatically I know my price should be in that range. Now I need to consider my cost. What do I need to buy? What is my time worth? What is my customer acquisition cost? Add it all together, find a nice number that you feel comfortable with and you think will draw in customers.
Turnaround time: This one is tough because if you’re anything like me you’ll want to get those orders done ASAP but there are things that may hold you up. Your website may malfunction, your supplier may be out of something you need or maybe you caught a cold and wouldn’t dare going near your products. Whatever it is do your best to keep those turnaround times down. This is one thing that I think can be a constant struggle for most business owners. Including myself!
When something isn’t working, try something else! You’ve got this!