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JohnW
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I certainly did not mean to infer that any regular contributors on Flying Solo have questionable ethics.

I’m trying to warn small business folk that starting an online shop can be cheap and easy, at least in as far as the installation of some very basic cart system with minimalist graphics.

Expect making a profit from it to be hard, time consuming and expensive.

The barriers to success have exploded in the last 5 years with:

  • More online competition
  • More offline competitors expanding to online
  • Paid online ads becoming more expensive
  • Search engines hurting many generic referrals to shopping sites
  • The diversification in online media – more time needed to learn how to use and implement it
  • The growth of technology – more frequent upgrades needed (expense)

If you don’t have a handle on these issues, don’t expect to make a profit until you do.

There can be extraordinary outcome variances between the online marketing tactics of different shopping categories as is shown in the report:

This without any assessment of many other market attributes (eg. location) that could generate even wilder swings in outcomes.

If you think social media is the simple answer to generating sales from your shop, check out the last para…

“However, social barely played a role anywhere, responsible for just 1% of site revenues in the hospitality, media and entertainment, and retail industries—and none in the other two.”

Can you make social media a cost/effective generator of sales for your products?

I strongly urge anyone thinking about starting an online shop and who currently has limited knowledge/experience in the area to spend at least 6 months studying up on online shopping in as much depth as possible.

There are lots of online marketing media sites that you can subscribe to and receive articles daily. Explore the forums daily of a couple of shopping cart software sites. Get a feel for the complexities, types and volumes of issues that are regularly generating threads in them.
Regs,
JohnW