The Learning Curve

Posted by Lesley McCauley on

Where do I start? Well, I've been working on this website for a few years now. SO much trial and error, SO much research, and yes, a fair amount of headaches. However, I am finally starting to see some sales! It's very exciting stuff, but I still feel like I have a long way to go. Here are a few details of my hiccups along the way.

     First stop : Volusion

Now I want to go on record as saying I didn't really have too much experience with online business or web design. If I did, I might have found their setup easier to manage. What really happened was I became very frustrated and just couldn't seem to get the store to look right. I read the reviews for Shopify and decided to jump ship. Good choice. Not only did I find the platform easier to navigate but they have wonderful help articles and I'm currently loving Shopify Academy. So informative and they can walk you through practically everything.

     Second task : Products

I'm a crafter by nature. I can't pass by any shop or garage sale without thinking "I wonder if they have good yarn or fabric there?" It's a sickness I know and I have the horde of supplies to prove it. My site has a scattering of my products that I've deemed worthy of selling. I have several things on deck that aren't quite ready for prime time yet. I need more products! What to do? Enter dropshipping. I didn't want to just put any old thing in my shop so I went in with this thought. If I could decorate my house with anything I wanted, would this product make the cut? So far I think I've made some good choices. The only problem I've run across is the service I use doesn't let you contact the supplier directly. This I hate. I had a transaction go horrible because their inventory wasn't up to date (even though they say their site updates automatically) and I had to wait day after day for second hand e-mail correspondence between all three parties. After almost a month trying to chase down the final product I owed my customer, I couldn't take it anymore. I blew all my profit and even dipped into my own pocket to purchase the item from Amazon. Not an ideal situation, but a good teaching moment. I'm thankful for my customers' patience and understanding. I'm now trying to find similar suppliers that I can contact directly.

     Next up : Marketing

I'm not going to bore you too much with this since I've only just begun to scratch the surface. I'm getting good traffic with Pinterest, some interest with Instagram and a few hits here and there from Facebook. I've only been paying Google ads so far and have gotten a few sales from them. It's a never ending process and I'm astounded at how much is out there! I'm excited to dive in a bit deeper and challenge myself to get my products seen by more people. I will keep you posted on my progress. Now, does anyone have a teenager that can explain Instagram to me?

Stay tuned...