7 e-Commerce Partners We Can’t Live Without
Purley Pillows have been selling pillows online in the UK since 2014. It all started when I signed up for a Shopify free trial and our journey to a 6-figure turnover has been tremendous fun. Along the way we have learned some key lessons and created these 7 essential partnerships:-
I know nothing about building a website or programming, so to start an online shop, I needed a simple, understandable, off-the-shelf platform which I could buy for a small monthly subscription and just add my products. I like Shopify because you can start for FREE and build up the level of subscription as your business grows. They are well established with many successful subscribers and offer an array of useful tools. So simple, even I can do it!
So, I have a website via Shopify and now have to be able to accept payments from my customers. There are many payment processing companies. They usually charge a percentage of the amount they process. Each company charges differently so I needed a trusted company who charge acceptable fees and who are compatible with my Shopify store. Luckily Stripe and Shopify are already partners and linking my new online shop to Stripe is done with a simple sign up and the click of a button. Again, simple!
Paypal is a trusted method of paying for goods online and is easily integrated into the Shopify platform. I find there is about a 50/50 split of buyers using Paypal and Stripe in our online shop.
Shortly after launching, I realised that there were some tweaks we wanted to make to the programming of our site. These tweaks were not essential, but I chose to make them as we felt it enhanced our shoppers’ experience. As I have no knowledge of programming, I sought the assistance of specialist web developer, whose advice and guidance continues to be a source of reassurance and encouragement moving forward.
I was advised that professional product photographs make the website look more established and presentable, so I found a photographer who specialises in product shots for websites. Pillows are particularly difficult to make look appealing and separate as most pillows look the same, but feel different. I was delighted with the first batch of product pictures, and now return when photos of new products are required.
A key part of running an eCommerce business that sells physical products is shipping, or posting the goods from our warehouse to the end user. I chose to use My Hermes to begin with. They collect our parcels from our warehouse and deliver to the buyers’ door. Perfect.
It’s one thing having a really great website, but it’s another attracting traffic to it. We learned very quickly that adwords and pay-per-click marketing is the domain of the specialist. I did try to do it myself, and this is great to learn how it works, but it is very time consuming and can be very expensive if you get it wrong. I found spending money to have an expert deal with adwords is a great investment.
Being active with social media is not only fun, but is really a necessity when marketing an online business. I was introduced to Up Beat Agency as Facebook marketing specialists. Having experts deal with these marketing niches has proven fruitful and I recommend having the right people do this for you. It’s a worthwhile investment.
We have a physical bed and mattress shop in Surrey www.surreybeds.co.uk and have found that our eCommerce pillow shop has become a logical parallel business.
Follow me on twitter @thebeducator