Sunday, 19 October 2014

3 tips when you are thinking about starting a webshop

Some bloggers might think to start a webshop to make some extra money. There are many simple ways to do it. We launched a web shop for Züny animals this weekend. In the process we looked at a lot of options and we thought to share them with you who might find them useful.

Selecting the right web shop platform
We looked into several platforms, which all had their unique features. Tictail is the all free and most simple to set up, but does not really have much features. Finnish platforms Vilkas and Holvi turned out to be a bit too complicated for a first timer. One of the most easy-to-use and good looking one is definitely Shopify. It is not free though, but not expensive either. So if you want to put a little bit effort on it, but do not have any real skills, that might be your best option. We decided to use Shopify platform because:

  • we wanted it to look really really good 
  • it needed to work on all platforms, especially mobile 
  • we wanted to have various discounts available 
  • easy sync with Google Analytics logic is the easiest to understand with zero experience in coding 
  • it’s not too expensive 
Planning the marketing 
No one will find your shop without you market it at least a bit. The first and easiest way is to let your friends know about the store. They are a good source for feedback also. Secondly you should also make a budget for the marketing and at least some kind of plan. This can take a lot of time and effort, much more than you would expect. As they say, ideas are easy - execution takes effort. You want have good photos and think about optimising those to different social media channels.
 In our ZunyStore we decided to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Ads, and try to maximize the developing communities. We are also doing some blogging campaigns to get the party started.
In Shopify one of the brilliant things is that you can have unique discount codes for example for bloggers who can activate their readers to Your shop.

Reserve enough time to do everything
This is really important. You are probably going to underestimate the time spent on the build-up. In our case time got used example for these:

  • Selecting the platform and learning to use it 
  •  Benchmarking other players and prices on the market 
  • Taking product photos (this is really a bigger task than you would think) 
  • Making an agreement with the manufacturer 
  • Planning the marketing 
  • Selecting the shop layout (Shopify has an amazing selection of free templates!) 
  • Writing product descriptions, keywords and adding those to the site 
  • Meeting the reseller of Europe 
  • Selecting and ordering the products 
  • Finding a storage for the products 
All in all, the excitement when your Store is finally open and customers start rolling in is worth all the trouble. Thanks to all the little helpers and especially the Shopify chat personnel who have been amazing and answering every little questions we have been bombarding them with. We think the site looks good. Hope you do too!


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