Advice from online shop owners

Thinking about starting your own online shop? Have a great product idea, getting ready to sell, but just not quite sure if you should take the leap or not? Read some of the following advice offered from some existing online shop owners…

Understand who you are.

  • What makes you unique? Very early on make sure you know what your Unique Selling Proposition is. To find your Unique Selling Proposition answer the question “What problem do we solve, and what is the unique way in which we solve it?”. Answer this early on and continue to refine it as your products grow and your online shop evolves.
  • Be unique and personal. When engaging with customers from your online shop, deliberately do things early on that might be hard to scale. Write little personal notes on packages. Include a little gift in the package. Offer a tutorial or other useful information with the product. The early days are when people find out what you’re all about, and taking the time to make people’s experience special will always be worth it and it will create the culture of your company in the process.

Understand your customers.

  • Know your customer. Who is your online shop serving? Where are they? Why would they buy from you? If you don’t know your customer, how can you possibly find and even sell something to them? Take time to understand your market – and don’t stop there! Make sure you put a phone number on your online shop – you’ll be amazed what you can learn in a sixty second telephone conversation with a customer!
  • Respect your customers. Treat each customer as if they are your only one. Good customer service will gain you repeat business (and emails from them giving you kudos, which is always lovely).

Don’t delay.

  • It’s easier now more than ever. About ten years ago, five years ago even, it was so expensive to set up an online business and you really needed to have some expertise in those areas. Today, you can basically set up an online store for almost nothing and it’s easy. And then it’s about coming up with something unique or niche, something that’s not mass market and build a community around it.
  • Low barrier to entry. If you have been putting it off, don’t! you will always be able to find an excuse to not start – just go for it. The entry barriers to starting your own business are so low these days with the internet that make building a beautiful store and more importantly a brand. Chances are if you don’t do it somebody else will.

Learn.

  • Learn from others. Find the most successful person you know and buy them lunch! Successful people thrive off helping other people get started. Be prepared, write notes, go in there with an open mind and let go, don’t, for one minute hold back. The wealth of knowledge and ideas which they give you will enable you to foresee a bigger picture and really open your eyes to a million different avenues which you never knew existed.
  • Do research. Do as much research as possible, but prepare to be unprepared. Continue to learn about the demographic and improve your online shop to address its needs.
  • Experiment. Don’t be afraid when you don’t know all the answers. Instead, try something and see how it works. When you make a mistake figure out what went wrong, make an adjustment, and try again.
  • Study others. Study online shops that sell products well in different markets. There are so many great resources out there.

Get out there.

  • Reach out to influencers. For new online shop owners out there, seed your products out to as many high quality influencers as you can, that are relevant to your business, as it will help your product quickly gain exposure and drive potential sales.

Finally, believe.

  • Believe in yourself. If you want it bad enough, it will happen for you! Patience is everything, positivity is crucial and determination will get you to where you want to be. Reflect and appreciate your hard efforts. Being an entrepreneur is rewarding but can be stressful. Make sure to take time each day to just appreciate your good results. Always stay true to yourself and your goals and remain faithful to your customer base.

If you’d like to know more about building and online shop, feel free to get in touch.