If you remember a while ago I mentioned that I was starting an online store that sold physical items. This isn’t something that I have ever done before, but it seemed like a fairly logical step in my online money making endeavors.
So how is it all going?
Well, at first things were really slow. We ordered our stock and had it shipped to our house, which took around 2 months between when we ordered and when we received it. A few weeks of that time was getting things through customs, which was a fairly trying experience.
Once we had our stock we went about photographing stock images and getting the website all up and running. So we didn’t actually have our online store running until pretty much the middle of December to the start of January – despite kicking things off back at the start of October.
Before I get any further in to this post, please note that I want to keep the websites identity hidden as well as what we are selling. The less competition I have to deal with, the better – sorry 🙂
Things are humming along a lot better now than they were when we started. Our rankings on Google have started to even out and I am starting to see some good ranking increases on long tail keywords. I also decided to take the plunge into social media and discovered a great little site called Wanelo. It is a shopping website that has been sending me a heap of great quality traffic. In fact, for a while there it was sending more traffic than Google as you can see below (Wanelo is green and Google is orange).
I am still not happy with our positions on Google. Our brand name still isn’t number 1 and most of the big keywords I have been targeting are hovering around page 2 and 3. If I can get the website to page 1, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see 100 orders a month or more. We aren’t quite setup to handle that kind of volume just yet, so hopefully we can just continue our slow march up the SERP ladder and we can grow along with the business.
Traffic is useless to me if it doesn’t convert into sales, and early on sales were very hard to come by. Our first sale came in January and it was quite the cause for celebration around the house. My wife and I were pretty excited. Unfortunately our excitement was short lived as we didn’t get another sale until a full month later. Then to our surprise, a 3rd order came through 3 days after the 2nd, and ever since then we have been going reasonably strong.
This is a graph out of woocommerce (the WordPress sales plugin we use) showing the sales we have had. The dates are a bit small at the bottom, but if you click the image it will take you to the full size one. (Note: We had our first day with more than 1 order recently).
At the moment we are happy with how things are going, although I suspect next month will not be as good as this month, simply because the traffic from Wanelo is starting to drop off as the products get shared less.
Having seen the power of social media, next month we are running a giveaway and trying to get more interest from Facebook, Twitter and particularly Pinterest. I know that Pinterest can be a traffic powerhouse with great conversion rates, I just need to spend some money to tap into that market space.
Over the next few months I will continue to build backlinks to the website and see if I can get some of our pages for the bigger keywords onto page 1 of Google. I suspect that it will be difficult though, as we are starting to get into the competitive space and so it will take a few more months at least.
Have you got a business or website? How are you going with promoting it and making sales? Have you got any handy hints you would like to share?