Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 22 seconds
You can build stores online all day long... it's easy enough. The hard part is getting people to shop and purchase from you. Today I am trying something different with a store I just created. I actually did something I never do, host on a platform other than WordPress and NOT use my hown hosting. The platform I chose is Shopify. I gave myself a deadline to build and get people in the door in less than 14 days and under $50.
I wanted to see what all the fuss is over Shopify. Before I go off one some "losing control of your shop" tangent, let's just discuss how I intend on getting people into the store shopping. If you want to stay updated on the progress or get notified when I post, be sure to enter your email address below this post if you are Mobile, or on the right sidebar if you are visiting from a desktop.
So, this is what I have in this project so far:
Domain - $1.07 (namecheap.com)
Hosting - $0.00 (14 day trial, then $29.95/month)
Fb Advertising - $7.00 Spread out over 7 days - 8 likes and some additional traction on website.
Total so Far: $4.07 - I have FB budgeted at $1.00 a day.
My time in building the store...
You need some kind of marketing budget to get people in the door. Once they are in the door, it's your job to convert the shoppers into buyers. When I had a brick and mortar store, I had a rough idea of how many shoppers came into the door and bought something. The same is true when you have an online store, you need to know how many shoppers convert into buyers. Before I closed it down, it cost me roughly $1200 to just keep the doors open at my brick and mortar store, money that could have gone into it's digital counterpart for marketing. I finally realized it wasn't worth the hassle and just wasn't my cup of tea. I'm thankful for the experience though and acquired some very important lessons in business. Back to the rent, the "rent" for my digital store is hosting, if you don't know what that entails, I can explain later. Most of my audience has a basic understanding of the terminology I use.
I'm sure you're asking by now, How do you get people shopping at your store?
Keep in mind, this isn't selling on Ebay or Amazon. It's my responsibility to get people shopping in my store. I'm left to my own devices and marketing savy. Though it's more difficult, the rewards are far greater as well. More on that at another time. When opening an eCommerce entity, you rarely have the advantage of being in a "good location", like you would when opening up shop in a busy mall or intersection. You have to be creative in getting people to look at your product. The main ways to do this are:
- SEO - ranking for keywords your target audience search for.
- Social Media - million and one ways
- Banner/Display Networks - networks you can advertise your site on. Google isn't the only game in town.
- Traditional Media - postcards, mailers, etc.
All of these options require a healthy budget to implement. SEO takes a lot of time, time we do not have if we want to have a positive cash flow in 14 days. What to do?
I study another eCommerce entrepreneur and follow him intently, he lead me to StoreYa. After doing some initial research and knowing the guy knows what he's talking about, I decided to try it out. I played with it for a bit but got tired and went to bed. I woke up the next morning the the following:
This was AWESOME NEWS!!! I could get 500 to 1000 visitors for 25 bucks... So I'm in! Do you realize how much that would cost at my brick and mortar shop or using Google Shopping or even Facebook? It would be a pretty penny indeed. I figured it was worth the gamble. If it didn't work I'd learn a lesson on either to tweek my website or change product around. Below is a video walk through of their platform. I will update my progress on this page. If you want to be notified of updates, enter your email on the right sidebar if you are a desktop visitor or at the bottom of this page if you are a mobile visitor.
I'm cautiously anxious to see how this works. It's always a good feeling when you test, test and re-test then finally hit on a winner. But that's what business is all about... test, test and more testing. If it were easy the world would be filled of entrepreneurs, luckily that's not the case.
Watch me navigate through StoreYa below. It starts about 30 seconds after you press play... you'll have to look at the logo for a bit, or you can fast forward. Be sure you enter your email address so you are notified when I update the results of my test.... Find out if I made any sales and more importantly, generated any profit.
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