Home – New Forums Selling online Where to go from here?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 30 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1125928
    JustJames
    Member
    • Total posts: 104
    Up
    0
    ::
    4leafclovergifts, post: 142391 wrote:
    … I am out of money and cant afford a website until this business starts paying for itself.

    You need to make it as easy as possible for people to buy from you.

    If buying online is right for your business – and that’s a question that’s always worth asking – then look at the various ‘software as a service’ storefronts that are available out there.

    They all have a free trial period, and have a monthly payment and not a capital outlay. FWIW, I use ashop, but that was because there system lets me set up products in a way that was critical for my business.

    Rome wasn’t built in a month!

    James

    #1125929
    WhatsThePlanDan
    Participant
    • Total posts: 297
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi there,

    Don’t give up now! You’ve come so far already – it just won’t feel like it. Its quite normal to feel doubt at this stage – it will pass eventually. For starters be extremely proud of yourself – you got out there and did something. So many people want to start a business but never get the guts to do anything about it.

    Just remember flyers can be quite hit & miss – if they don’t arrive at just the moment someone is looking for the product/service then it might be lost. What I’m trying to say is its not unusual for a leaflet campaign to kick in. It may even take additional deliveries to the same area.

    Have you thought of looking at some local markets as a short term strategy? Might be way of getting your name out there. I believe in Melbourne there are regular ‘baby’ markets specifically for new & expectant mothers – could be worth looking into.

    Good luck!

    Cheers
    Daniel

    #1125930
    MinzBeadz
    Member
    • Total posts: 103
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Kelly,

    I would also add a suggestion that if you’re currently limited to using Facebook for sales, then changing your privacy settings so the message button is available might help. There is currently no way for a purchaser to do anything privately except put in a form and wait – I would personally message or email directly if possible (your email address is still not in your “about” section). My experience with some Facebook shoppers is not all that flattering in that many of them seem to have limited attention spans i.e. if they want to know or buy something, they want to know or buy it NOW. Having the message button available helps with that. (Apologies to all those great Facebook shoppers who don’t do that :D )

    With regard to not having the funds for a website at this stage, have you considered something like VendorShop? It’s free, it loads into your Facebook page, simple to use, and accepts different payment methods. It might be a short term solution to get a few sales happening prior to being able to afford a website.

    Regards, and keep slogging away, it’s early days yet :)

    #1125931
    ScarlettR
    Member
    • Total posts: 396
    Up
    0
    ::

    Just a thought: Have you thought about the customers your targeting? Just as Wendy said, were your 5000 brochures to your target market?

    I understand you’ve targeted your area and have seen people carrying your brochure in the supermarket. However your products look more high end with Natio and luxury bath robes etc. This gives me two thoughts:

    1. I’m not sure mum’s would buy these for themselves. I could be totally wrong here, and I’m sure I am, but my mum and the mum’s I know never bought hampers or high end stuff, or ‘nappy cakes’ for themselves. As a gift store women won’t go in to buy for themselves. Can you shift your target to husbands, brothers & sisters, parents or children? Have you been reaching the audience who will think of the woman who will use these products?

    2. The woman I do imagine buying for themselves are on the higher end of the payscale. I don’t know what suburbs you distributed flyers in but have you targeted the mothers who regularly use Natio and high end products. Women with 5 kids and are house wives- do they have that kind of money to spend on themselves? And if they do, where do they live? I’m in Melbourne so I’m not sure what suburbs you hit but in Melbourne I’d be considering Campberwell, Glenferrie , Toorak, St Kilda, Port Melbourne and the like.

    #1125932
    Stuart B
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,070
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hey there. I agree with others 1 month is nothing. If you haven’t sold anything in 6 months then I’d start to worry…. HOWEVER!

    Some feedback from me.

    I assume you’ve chosen to go for doing this on a Facebook page instead of a website for financial reasons, which is fine so I’ll direct my feedback to your facebook page rather than trying to convince you of the need of a website.

    When I clicked through to the page I had no idea how I was going to buy something from your Facebook page. Then after 2 minutes I noticed the ‘order form’ tab.

    Now I understand how you want to sell these items however for me I wouldn’t purchase something through a facebook page unless I REALLY wanted it, or new they were trustworthy.

    Now that brings me to another point. To me I don’t think your facebook page looks professional / trustworthy enough. When you get there, the top banner image is the illustrated thing with gifts etc. This is a mistake…

    That top image should be an insanely perfect image showing samples of items people can buy from you. I should arrive on that page and be like “oh my god look at that stuff, I want to buy it now!”. And then I can go exploring the other things you have.

    You also need to change the profile pic of the cartoon style clover. The animated style of those images makes it feel like it’s being run by kids and that doesn’t make me want to buy. It doesn’t match the feel of your products either. When I look at the product photos they all look really really nice, but these illustrations are letting it down.

    Also you need to change the icon for the order form. It doesn’t fit properly in the space firstly, and secondly if I hadn’t noticed the text under saying “order form” I would have never discovered that’s how you buy stuff.

    Furthermore, if you are trying to push sales in this manner you need to make it as easy as possible! So I would suggest when you post something, in the post description it should say something like “Luxury Gift Set – Dressing Gown, Matching Slippers, Body Lotion – Click here to Order“. Then make that link through to the orders tab on your Facebook page. Who knows there may be people who want to buy the stuff but haven’t figured out how to?!

    My last point… Do NOT ask your friends and family for their feedback. Or at least as for it, but take their comments with a STRONG dose of skepticism, because they count for very little. Do you honestly think that anyone who loves you is going to say “nah those products are pretty boring to me” or “no I don’t want to buy something from that page”? Especially when they know how much effort you’ve put in to it.
    If you really want actual feedback you need to ask people who don’t care about your feelings. You could survey some people who you’ve never met, pretend that you have no affiliation with the owner of the page and ask them impartial questions. It’s more effort yes, but you will quickly diagnose any issues with the page. Honestly when I setup a project of my own, I’m happy to hear comments from people close to me, but I don’t factor it into my decision making unless I know they’re being brutally honest, or if it’s actual negative / constructive feedback. If anyone just says “oh yeah it looks so great – what a great idea – I’d totally buy that!” – I basically just erase their comments from my brain immediately.

    Hope this is useful :)

    #1125933
    AngelaGirl
    Member
    • Total posts: 330
    Up
    0
    ::

    Sorry to hear things aren’t going as planned.

    How did you go with your initial orders? I recall from your first post that you were overwhelmed with all the orders you’d already received and you had hundreds of people wanting to buy as soon as you were running.

    Were you able to fill those orders? Did it help to refine your target market and product range? Did you get much feedback from those customers?

    #1125934
    Trustedwebsites
    Member
    • Total posts: 21
    Up
    0
    ::

    You are most definitely not alone. All the advice in the posts above regarding early days is absolutely correct. Very few websites take in the first month.

    I have to agree with the member who suggested an online store. Consumers are generally looking for traditional online stores and are not necessarily confident yet in the Facebook type store. I am also not convinced that globally it has been a successful sales mechanism for all that have used it. I am not the expert here however but have read interesting articles on its perceived success or lack thereof.

    Bigcommerce is a simple platform but there are many you can use. By the way, i have the best friends in the world and they are so supportive (but they don’t make the best customers).

    Good luck. Hang in there.

    Bob Keen
    MD
    http://www.trustedwebsites.com.au

    #1125935
    The Copy Chick
    Member
    • Total posts: 963
    Up
    0
    ::

    To echo everyone else, a month is nothing!! Don’t throw in the towel just yet.

    I also agree with much of what LemonChip said… you should be showing off your beautiful giftware on your Facebook banner rather than displaying what looks like clip art. I appreciate you’re probably trying to embrace the festive season, but you’re really missing a golden opportunity to display your beautiful giftware.

    Also focusing just on your FB page, there are free applications you can use to build photo galleries where you could upload good quality pictures of all your gifts with descriptions. This would allow you to showcase all your goods on a more permanent basis than just posting photos to your timeline.

    Alternatively you could set up a Pinterest page (free) to post photos of all your goods and add a link to this from your Facebook page.

    I’ve helped a couple of clients with this and would be happy to give you some pointers if you wanted to get in touch.

    Have you listed your business in some of the online directories like HotFrog, TrueLocal, etc? These are also free and give you more avenues to get your name online and display your products.

    Also – make sure that EVERY photo you upload has a good description eg. “pink_novelty_nappy_cake.jpg” rather than 1534.jpg, as this can also help your products appear in search results if people are typing in certain search requests.

    And remember that these things will take time. I know it’s disappointing to be this close to Christmas and not seeing sales, but people need to find you and feel comfortable with you.

    Hope you get something useful from all of that :)

    #1125936
    community engine
    Member
    • Total posts: 30
    Up
    0
    ::

    Don’t give up!

    You’ll find in the first few months you’ll try lots of things and fail lots of times – but that’s ok!

    All good ideas about moving outside Facebook. It isn’t really built for selling – the reality is it’s a personal network for friends to socialise. I’d love for you to give community engine a try – its a free social commerce site where you can sell your gift packs, post messages, photos, videos etc.

    If you’re interested I’ve literally just started a promo where you can win a free iPad Mini just by trying it out –here

    Would love to know what you think!

    #1125937
    Inferno
    Member
    • Total posts: 22
    Up
    0
    ::
    4leafclovergifts, post: 142373 wrote:
    Hi. About a month ago I started an online business (through facebook) and have poured over a grand into advertising. There is alot of interest. Many friends have said how wonderful the products are and at such a great price. I have walked 57km’s delivering pamphlets, seen people carrying them at the supermarket. Lots of activity and likes on my facebook page. Even had a 20% off sale for a week. Problem….I have only sold one gift pack to a friend and that is all. I am beginning to wonder if the Four Leaf Clover is lucky at all…So I am wondering, does anyone know where I can go from here? Christmas will not be happening for my family this year if things dont pick up :-(.

    Your post makes me want to ask a lot of questions. For example:

    Did you do any research before you started the business or the advertising to see who the market was, and where they were for your products?

    Who is your target customer?

    What are your products that you have seen people buying them in supermarkets?

    What have your competitors done to promote the similar products, or are they strategically placed in the supermarket for an impulse buy?

    Why should people buy from you instead of somewhere else?

    Is your business based online or on a Facebook page or do you have a shop front?

    What was the call to action in the direct mail that you did and was it obvious to the potential customers what the benefit of buy from you was?

    With the direct mail that you did why did you pick the areas that you dropped the mail in?

    All the best
    David Counsell
    Email: [email protected]
    Mobile: 0418 126 874

    #1125938
    Brooke Curline
    Member
    • Total posts: 120
    Up
    0
    ::
    4leafclovergifts, post: 142373 wrote:
    Hi. About a month ago I started an online business (through facebook) and have poured over a grand into advertising. There is alot of interest. Many friends have said how wonderful the products are and at such a great price. I have walked 57km’s delivering pamphlets, seen people carrying them at the supermarket. Lots of activity and likes on my facebook page. Even had a 20% off sale for a week. Problem….I have only sold one gift pack to a friend and that is all. I am beginning to wonder if the Four Leaf Clover is lucky at all…So I am wondering, does anyone know where I can go from here? Christmas will not be happening for my family this year if things dont pick up :-(.

    Hi,
    I have just seen your post and although it is from last year, I am wondering how you are doing. I was very saddened to read how disheartened you were after a month – I’m sure it felt like a year, although it really is a very short time. I have had a look at your facebook page and your products look good. Have you contacted a website called “My Family Deals” – they are quite new and are always looking for products particularly for mums and kids – they are also starting out, although they could give you some very good exposure as their database is increasing all the time and I know they were on “Today Tonight” at one stage. Contact [email protected] and I know she will be very keen to talk to you. Please let me know how you go.
    Kind Regards
    Brooke Curline

    #1125939
    Rico
    Member
    • Total posts: 137
    Up
    0
    ::

    That site looks interesting. Do you know how much traffic do the get?

    #1125940
    John Romaine
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,108
    Up
    0
    ::

    1. A month is too soon to be “packing it in”
    2. Get your own domain/website – the costs are so minimal its ridiculous
    3. How effective were the flyers? Did you measure the response?
    4. Start leveraging videos
    5. Build a list.

    Your time spent walking around handing out flyers is better spent working with someone who can point you in the right direction.

    #1125941
    Rick | Visible
    Member
    • Total posts: 37
    Up
    0
    ::

    To be honest, and in my opinion, facebook is not the way to go to start your online business. This only works for some e-commere businesses.

    I would:
    * Start a website, with a good clear design and absolute user-friendliness. Why did you create your company? Why should people buy from you? Make that very clear.

    * Refer from your facebook to your website. Don’t spend toooo much time on Facebook. Remember the 80/20 rule.

    * Do some PPC to drive traffic and get the initial sales. From there onwards to increase the word-of-mouth referrals (prizes, discounts, referral prizes etc etc).

    * Start optimizing for SEO. Don’t expect results the 6 months to a year. But you need to start somewhere

    #1125942
    Paddy
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi,
    All of the Posts are full of positive suggestions, sadly there is ‘no magic bullet’ to Internet Marketing. Like all new businesses the initial energy for the ‘lift off’ is enormis.
    I have a few online shopping cart sites and I use the processes:
    1) Smart Shopping Cart Website with no upfront fee, $6.45 pw (be careful here most Build it yourself websites keep all of your data when you out grow them)
    2) Sell on eBay
    3) Sell on Facebook
    4) Target you Market carefully, think about How, Where and Why will a client buy from me. Gift packs to me (I am a Bloke) need to be right in front of my nose, so Where are there new mums ?, in the Maternity section of the hospital, as I am always on the lookout for points, I will take flowers for sure, the florist is near the hospital, maybe your pamper packs should be there too, or at least your card.
    5) Create a ‘Feeding’ frenzy with a give away promotion.
    6) Attend local Markets, or have someone who already has a Market Stall add your product to their stall and give you cards out.
    7) Find a location that New Mum’s frequent that will let you have a Card Holder, one of my websites sells Embroidered Cloth Patches to Motorcycle riders, every weekend hundreds of Riders go to Maleny QLD, they drink coffee and eat so the Cafe is the place for the business cards, I fill the card holder up on Friday afternoon and it is always empty on Monday morning and the orders start rolling into the website on Sunday night.

    Whenever you get a bit down thinking this is never going to work, buy a Chocolate, think of 3 mmm’s, Marketing, Marketing, Marketing, do some marketing and stay at it until you get some results.

    Cheers
    Ron

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 30 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.