I first started with other marketplaces. Jet.com seemed interesting, a ton of money invested and ads all over tv. But I can’t just upload products and start selling, I have to use their API, and they have some sort of convoluted scheme on shipping. Not interested.
I had tried eBay before with limited success and maximum headaches. No thanks.
Same for Rakuten and Sears.com. Little traffic, a couple sales, and not much return for the headache. Nope.
Ok, well then the remaining option is to start my own website. I can do that, I’ve done it dozens of times before so let’s go in that direction, I thought. Great.
Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, and the list of two unrelated words squashed together to form an ecommerce platform continues to the horizon. Who to pick? Who has the coolest themes? Who has the easiest setup, and which is easy to use. I tried a couple, and landed on Shopify.
Step 1, done
I go over to GoDaddy and get a domain, register for a free trial on Shopify, and by my 3rd cup of coffee I’ve made some damn good progress. I feel like I could go live in a couple more hours of tweaking and switching colors around. This is fantastic.
On to the meat of the site, my products. I’m a small potato and have roughly 1,100 SKUs. Not bad.. I should be able to download from Amazon, upload to Shopify and be done! Can’t wait. I go to my Seller Central dashboard, download a couple reports and proudly think I can just upload these and I’m good to go!
I move over to Shopify, download their template, open it in Excel and smile to myself. I am a black-belt in Excel. Even Chuck Norris would bow before my skills. This shouldn’t take 30 minutes.
As I break into Shopify’s Excel template it starts to get cloudy. How do I enter variations? Images for variations? Quantity? Which quantity? SKUs go where? What price? What are these extra fields? Why isn’t my sheet uploading?
As the clock meanders towards dinner time I begin to get flustered. As usual, my project, which I thought would take a couple hours, has now taken most of the day and I have a beautiful looking Shopify theme, but not even one of my 1,100 SKUs. As the smell of chicken corn chowder comes wafting up to my office, and my family starts calling me for supper, I need to put this down for a bit. But I’ll be back…
There’s a HUGE learning curve when you’re first setting up an online store. You can spend 38 million hours Googling this stuff. Or you can ask a magical genie to help you get setup.
Have you ever seen a super sleek, high-end car with a pile of garbage in place of the engine? No? That’s what a website with great product photos and bad copy is like.
There are lots of ways to get more customers to your store – paid ads, media coverage, etc. But there’s one super simple method you can implement today: search engine optimization
You can have the most beautiful web design, amazing photos and the perfect business name, but if your products are shit, your business will be shit.