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Shopify

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The 5 things you can learn from Shopify Success Stories

 

Shopify loves to share success stories with its audience. Who wouldn't - its important for Shopify to show potential store owners how incredible their platform is and what better way they through success stories.

I have taken a look at some of the latest success stories and pulled out some key learnings for you. Hopefully these key learnings will help you to fast track your success.

1. Know how you plan to acquire your customers before you start

This is awesome advice. Don't invest all your time, effort and money in your product and website if you don't know how you plan to market to and acquire your customers. Business success involves much more than a great product and a great looking website.

Investing time in working out how you plan to get traction with your new business is vital. Your traction plan needs to be closely aligned to your ideal customer. You need to know who your ideal customer is and where you can reach them.

Its important to set aside budget for your traction plans. It will cost money to reach your target customer. In the case of Teaglad - the most successful customer acquisition channel for them was Facebook and Google Display ads.

I always advise my clients to start building an audience before your even launch your site. Launching to an active and engaged audience rapidly increases your likelihood for success. The owner of Devon Maryn, worked to build their presence on social media and gain followers in their target audience. They shared in-process product designs, asked for opinions, and even ran contests for people to name the products. This all contributed to an engaged fanbase who were ready to buy by the time they had inventory to sell in August 2014.

2. You can do everything yourself

The owner of Comfortable Boxes Co recently share his success story with Shopify. One of the key points he shared was that he is doing everything in his business. He is a brand new start up and he is handling all of these things himself - purchasing, procurement, graphics design, video editing, marketing, social media, systems, accounting, banking, payments, sales, quotes, wholesale, and customer service. He believes that you can do everything yourself.

I tend to agree with him. Here is why. Unlike when I started my online business over 7 years ago there are so many tools now that can help novices doing things well. If need graphic design for your business - then use Canva. If you need a video for your business - take it yourself with your iPhone. Your accounting system is now fully integrated with your website. Customer service is made easier with live chat and other customer service apps.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't want you spend ridiculously amounts of time trying to figure things out. But I do want you to invest time to empower yourself with knowledge. Then go and seek the advice or help from an expert.

I also believe that when you are starting out - you should play every role in your business. This gives you an unbelievable insight into what is required to make that function of your business successful. If you have a can do, growth mindset - you can take on anything. What you learn will be invaluable.

3. Customers are everything

Absolutely! We don't exist without customers. Your business's whole reason for existing is to help your customers solve a problem or fulfill a desire. You need to have your customer at the centre of absolutely everything you do in your business. You need to love your customer. You need to want them the best for them in sense. In very aspect of your business think about how you can make your customers lives easier, more rewarding, more joyful or more insightful. Seek to delight your customer at every point they touch your business. Try to impress them each time they interact with you. 

4. Connect with your customers

Knowing your customer intimately allows you to connect with your customers on a personal level. Forming a true human connection where you are able to speak in a way that resonates with your customer is vital. Do you know the language your customers use to talk about their problems and desires? Do you only talk about your products and the not the benefits of your products on your website. Do you demonstrate clearly to your customer how your offering will help change their lives?

It is important to give your most loyal customers everything they need to share your story for you. Building a fan base of loyal customers who can't stop talking about your company, will quickly turn to 100 customers and take off from there. There are a few thing you can do to make this happen. Do you have effective share tools on your website? What do you do to reward customers who support you? 

5. Word of Mouth

Two of Five the success stories cited Word of Mouth as insanely important for their business. And I couldn't agree more. The cheapest customers you can acquire in your business are ones referred by their friends (assuming you are not paying for the referrals). My family business has relied on word of mouth almost exclusively for the last 30 years.

Working hard on your customer experience - every single touch point you have with a customer will help to ensure that your customer has an incredible experience that they want to talk about and share with their friends. Your website has a part to play in this customer experience but its not everything. Too many Shopify store owners focus almost exclusively on the website. They forget about the before and after experience with their brand. What can you do before some purchases and after some purchases to create a lasting and unique experience that people will want to share with their friends?

Have you been in business for a while?

If so I would love to hear what you have learned. What are your 5 insights into success?

An on side note:

If you are a Shopify store owner - do you have a success story to share? Then make sure you submit it. Getting on the Shopify blog and in their success story email is great exposure for your business. Here is the link to submit your story.

 

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Do Mumtrepreneurs actually make money?

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This week the Sydney Morning Herald wrote an article about whether mum's who start businesses from home really make money.

Here is the article for you to read.  

The answer seems to be that is depends. Some do make money and some don't. The ones that do advocate the following principals:

1. Start with an affordable website - as you begin to work in your business you realise what functionality to need.  

At BBC we believe you should start with a Cloud Hosted e-commerce package like BigCommerce, Shopify, Wordpress of SquareSpace. These platforms give you a lot of core functionality on day one. We believe you should start your business putting your best foot forward. We don't advocate building the site yourself using the website tools provided for free from hosting providers. If your website is cobbled together, inconsistent, error prone and unprofessional it will reflect badly on your brand. The cloud hosting options give the opportunity to look good on day one and offer your customers a sound buying experience.

2. Make sure you can update the website yourself, don't rely and keep paying for your web developer to do it for you.  

We totally agree with this statement. The e-commerce solutions we provide at BBC give our customers the ability to totally manage the site themselves. They can change the sliders, ad boxes and navigation all on their own. They can implement apps on their own which gives their site additional functionality. We fully train our customers so they can take over the full management of their site themselves.

 3. The key to profitability is to do everything yourself in the beginning.

We also agree with this is principal. Doing everything yourself allows you to learn your business. It allows you to set up the business processes the way you want. However you are not an expert in every aspect of your business. Sometimes you need the help of an expert. This might be the case with search engine marketing or search engine optimisation. If you think you are out of your depth then speak to us. We can either help you or point you in the direction of some sound e-learning to help bridge the gap.

4. You should outsource your graphic design to get your business identity right.

We totally agree with this point. Your business identity is important. It is a reflection of you and how seriously you take your business. You want your customers to think you are a professional company that they can trust and rely on. A logo helps build this trust and brand identity. At Boutique Business Consulting we can create a logo for you from as little as $99. Contact us today if you need help creating your brand identity. We would argue that getting a designer to create elements of your website help to give your website a designed feel. We can create slider images from as little as $60 per slide. Ideally your website is totally designed for your brand.

5. Successful mumtreprenuer businesses investment money in a quality website, proper branding, business cards and get training on how to run an online business - according to Business Coach Kathryn Hocking.

We totally agree with this statement. We also couldn't agree more with getting training. As BBC we are developing tool kits to assist our clients through starting a business. In addition we have a library of recommended e-books that should be read. If you have the means you should attend a local college or TAFE course on running a business if you have never run a business before.

6. Having a social media strategy is key. 

Absolutely. You need to decide which social media platforms you are going to invest your efforts in. We recommend that everyone creates a Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest account. Youtube should also be explored if you can create video content. Each platform requires a slightly different strategy. We work with our clients to assist with developing their strategy. Social media takes time and effort but its worth the opportunity to engage with your target audience.

 

A number of people have read this article and left comments. One comment I feel is worth expanding on - left by BuyAustralianMade.

"There are a number of mumpreneurs who are BuyAustralianMade members making a profit, though for most it hasn't come easy. The product or service they are selling has to be what customers/clients wish to buy, not just something that the mumpreneur is good at making or likes making. After all not all customers can be friends or family just wanting to help out. Mumpreneurs who find a niche, give great value, engage with their customers, a reliable way of finding new customers/clients are well on the road to turning a profit and most have a very lean supply chain which allows competitive pricing."

We couldn't agree with these comments more. You must find a niche. You must know who your customer is and how you need to speak to them. You need to address your customers wants not just their needs. You must form an emotional connection with them. We have two tool kits that help our clients develop their brand around their customer and help them find their niche. Contact us today if you want help honing your business to your customer.

 

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Mobile Commerce - You need a mobile website

Is your website optimised for mobile and ipad devices?

If not it should be. Recent surveys have shown that many small businesses have not optimised their websites. On average 20-40% of your traffic will come from mobile devices.

If your e-commerce store is on Shopify we will automatically choose a responsive theme. This means that your website will look different on a hand held device - it will be displayed in a way that 'looks good' on a mobile. This ensures you get the sales want.

Talk to us if you want to create a responsive website using Shopify.

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Why Shopify?

Are you looking for a ecommerce site for your start up, or are you wanting to redevelop your existing business? Shopify is a leading ecommerce platform that is fast to develop, secure and highly customisable. Shopify will give you the edge over your competitors.

This is why we like Shopify.

  • Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform that has over 50,000 successful stores running on the platform.
  • —Choose from over 100 templates or create a custom designed theme for your online store. Responsive website for different devices - so your store will look good on an email as well.
  • —Fully hosted online shopping cart – Shopify provides a secure shopping cart that lets you instantly accept credit cards and PayPal payments.
  • —State-of-the-art security- Shopify is Level 1 PCI compliant and uses 128 bit SSL encryption to ensure credit card data is secure.
  • —Accept global currencies - Expand your business worldwide. Shopify stores can accept payment from around the world.
  • —Fast time to market. The average store will only take a few days to set up.
  • —100’s of additional applications that can add features to your store.

Take control of your website. Boutique Business Consulting can help you set it up and then you own and manage your store. We are hear to offer support guidance if you need it but the great thing about Shopify is that it is so easy to use!

For more information go to Shopify.

Read some independent reviews on Shopify:

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Why use a Shopify Expert?

Shopify is easy to use. So easy you could set it up yourself. However we recommend you use a Shopify Expert like Boutique Business Consulting. Here's why:

1. We will set up your site so that it is optimised for sales. There are two component to this. The first component is getting traffic. We will make sure that the website is optimised for search engines - this will help you get seen quicker. The second component is coverting the traffic that visits into sales. This means we will help you choose the themes and apps we know will deliver conversions.

2. Its not always easy to get your website to look good. Looking good is important. Your website is often your customer's first contact with your brand and you need to make an impression. Unless you have design experience its not always easy to look good or to configure to theme to exactly match your brand. We can help you look impressive.

3. Every business is unique and sometimes you need unique features on your website. Shopify is infinitely customisable if you know how to code. So if you need a feature that isn't in a theme or an app we can help it be developed.

If you decide to set it up yourself and then decide you need help - no problem. We can assist at any step in the process. Contact us for a quote. Or if you know what you need simply purchase the product from our consulting e-boutique.

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