So, I’m in week two of building my first ever e-commerce shop – ImpossibleToBuyFor.com.
This week has been a lot of ‘band aid’ work as I try to get things looking good enough to make the site live, without spending months making everything perfect. I thought this week I’d talk a bit about the business and emotional balance between releasing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and a Fully Finished Company.
I started off by importing all my products with WooZone (get it on CodeCanyon for $34). The WooZone plugin has been a massive lifesaver for me as it imports anything you want from Amazon as a fully fledged product with ‘Add to Cart’ button, prices, title, image, description, Amazon, the whole shebang! I can see why it’s the one alllll the blogs recommend. However, the content from Amazon itself isn’t always great so this week I’ve spent a lot of time editing/adding product images, shortening titles, rewriting descriptions etc. It’s been really tricky to know how thorough to be with these things – do people read the descriptions? Do they care more about pictures or titles? Should I be focusing on marketing instead? All the standard inner monologue stuff! In the end I’ve reached a happy medium where things are good enough to look professional and slick without being flawless and taking a lifetime to create.
For me that meant getting all the images square without having product edges cut off, and replace some really bad images with decent ones from Google. A lot of my competitors do their own photography, so if this grows to be big enough I’ll call in every product and photograph it myself, or contact the suppliers to ask if they have better products than the images on Amazon. But that’s a future goal! I also edited all the titles to make them just a couple of words long, mostly for visual purposes, and formatted the descriptions to add proper sentences and paragraphs and remove repetition. Again, in future I’d like to fully rewrite them, or have a professional copywriter create catchy phrases, but for now this will do.
It’s meant this week has felt a bit like going backwards – just once I’d imported everything I went back and changed all the images, then I felt like I should re-do the descriptions. After that I asked for some feedback and someone pointed out I had a few products on there with poor reviews. So at that point I manually went back through every product to remove anything with less than 4 starts on Amazon. I was surprised to find that a lot of the ones I removed are available on competitor sites, but very glad to be moving above the pack! So there’s been a lot of going back and forth, but I think overall things have progressed massively.
Once I got everything to a point that I thought was good enough I did a soft launch to friends and family. Obviously I’ve blogged about ImpossibleToBuyFor.com here on my blog, but I’ve also posted on Facebook and created a Twitter account to get the word out. My next challenge will be getting press coverage in order to reach the wider masses, but for now friends and family is a great start. The hardest part for me was putting out something that I don’t feel is 100% perfect. Everything works, and looks good, but when it’s on your personal Facebook you want to present the best side of yourself. However, I’d strongly encourage you to go ahead and launch as soon as you can – even if it’s only a soft launch to friends to get feedback, it’s vital you take that first step and get things moving… otherwise you’ll be shuffling things around for weeks or even months before you can make any money.
Since then I’ve also had my first few sales! Amazon Affiliates only give 5-10% on most sales meaning so far my earnings are up to a grand total of £1.45, but I’m over the moon. It was actually a really emotional experience to finally log on and see a sale had come through. Fingers crossed for a whole lot more to arrive now. It’s also super cool that you get Amazon commission on products you don’t even advertise – if someone goes to Amazon because of you, then anything they buy in the next 24 hours counts as your sale. Pretty sweet! It’s also been helpful for me to see what my customers like, and I often add things they’ve bought to my site for the next viewers to see.
Here’s a screen shot of my first few sales….Pretty exciting stuff!
So, that’s it for this week. I hope you guys are enjoying following my journey and it making you wonder about becoming a Digital Nomad yourself. The next stage is to contact UK Press and bloggers, so keep an eye out for my next post on ‘How To Write A Successful Press Release’ – there’s actually a lot more to it than you think…
And don’t forget – check out ImpossibleToBuyFor.com and get ahead on your Christmas shopping!