How Long Did It Take You?

19 replies
  • ECOMMERCE
  • |
Hi!

So I'm finally starting a nice online gift shop. I've been procrastinating about it for awhile now and think this spring might be a good time to finally start it.

I'm curious how long it took you all that have stores to set up your stores and bring in your first sale? Did you wish you had started sooner on your stores?


Thanks for the needed input!
#long
  • Profile picture of the author stretch361
    Well, when I set up my first store in 2005, there wasn't a whole lot of information out there on how to build sites, and market them. Back then, google products (froogle) drove our first sale. It took about a month of tweaking and working on the site to get it up and running. Then, it took about a week before my first sale.


    Now, based on experience, I can put up a new ecommerce site up within a day, and have traffic going to it to garner sales within a day.

    In my opinion, if you have the right knowledge (i.e. follow good instructions), it will probably take you a week or so to fully understand the shopping cart you are using. Getting your first sale will depend on if you are spending any money on advertising or not. You can probably get your first sale the same day you put it up if you pay for traffic. If you aren't paying for traffic, you'll need to do some marketing campaigns to drive traffic. Depending on how good you are at marketing, you could see a lift the same day, or much longer.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8878780].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author yoangov
    About a month to set it up and start seeing like 5-10 visitors a day (constant).

    Good luck with your project!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8878788].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Hi sweetcrabhoney18,

      I have built and launched Many eCommerce stores.

      The very first one I did on my own, I coded the entire shopping cart script from scratch. Back in those days I was still learning how to build eCommerce stores. It took me 3 weeks to write, test and debug the shopping cart script.

      It was a very simple cart and it was placed on a manufacturer's website that had traditionally sold their commercial grade equipment over the phone, or through distributors. Within 2 days we had our first order and I was relieved it worked. That was more than 10 years ago and eCommerce was not as accepted as it is today.

      I have launched 11 webstores over the past 2 years, and all but a few have generated multiple orders within 24 hours of launch. This is due in part to advertising, I don't have time to wait around to see if the web store is converting properly, I immediately generate a lot of traffic to see if there are any issues that need to be fixed, or improved.

      I cannot find every issue related to marketing until after I have a good bit of data to analyse. So while I am building and preparing the website for launch I also put together adverting campaigns to blast targeted traffic at the website from the first moment it is ready to take orders.

      Of course how long it takes to get your first order will vary a lot depending on the size of your niche, the price range of your products, how well your webstore is designed, the effectiveness of your sales copy, and how well targeted your traffic sources are.

      I do this for a living, so I don't have time to sit around waiting for the first sale. If I don't get multiple sales within the first day, I consider the website broken and immediately begin looking for what is wrong so that it can be fixed. And there is almost always things that need fixed because you cannot be certain of anything until you have real data to confirm your assumptions.

      The truth is that the most work that needs to be done is usually done after the launch. Test everything, and let your data guide you towards maximizing profit. Marketing is measuring and adapting to the needs of your customers. That is where success is determined, it's your marketing plan that is the key.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8878994].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author onutzah
        Hi
        I started my project in september last year and it is taking forever!
        I feel that i learned a lot in this period...the HARD way
        I don't like whining, i am just admitting i didn't know scratch about website developing! i started with the idea of building a storefront with cool products and now i'm convinced i want a complete ecommerce solution, for both products and architectural services.

        Originally Posted by dburk View Post

        Hi sweetcrabhoney18,
        The truth is that the most work that needs to be done is usually done after the launch. Test everything, and let your data guide you towards maximizing profit. Marketing is measuring and adapting to the needs of your customers. That is where success is determined, it's your marketing plan that is the key.
        Listen, do you actually think that hiring a webmarketer is useless while the site is still offline?!I can't offer better prices, but i think i can compete because of the service i'm offering.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8884504].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    It is 100% dependent on your experience, knowledge & implementation. If you are BRAND NEW and doing very little right, it could take months! If you are extremely savvy and doing most everything right, you'll get orders inside of the first week your live. Most likely you are somewhere in between and you'll see orders here and there the first couple months.

    No exaggeration, we start getting orders within a day or two of launching a new store now. Back in the day, when I was extremely inexperienced and not real sure of what I was doing, it would take a month or so to get that first order!
    Signature
    StoreCoach.com - FREE TRAINING - Learn How to Build Your Own eCommerce Website
    My PROVEN ecommerce process, as seen on: Fox Business News, the NY Times & Flippa
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8878949].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sweetcrabhoney18
    Thanks guys for the input! Nice to hear such positive information about starting out -- so very helpful and a great motivator! I have built stores before with bigcommerce but since I plan to start very slow with this project ,I'm going to try woocommerce for the first time in like 5 years. I really hope it works out! Thank you all again!
    Signature

    keep moving forward

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8878990].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sweetcrabhoney18
    Really great advice and information, Don. Thank you tons for being so willing to share your experience and history. Super admirable.
    Signature

    keep moving forward

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8879778].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Daniel J
    Congrats on getting your gift shop up and running! That can be the hardest part (getting started!) There are a lot of factors that will come into play that will decide whether or not you'll get visitors. I sell a lot on Amazon and Ebay, but also sell on websites. My most effective strategy has been to list products on Amazon (I used to do Ebay a lot more before Amazon got so popular) and then direct customers from my purchases to my online store. This seems to be a great method to get traffic if done right.

    Ebay is also particularly good for getting people to your site even WITHOUT selling to them (you must play within the rules, but Jim Cockrum has some fantastic ideas on this in "silent sales machine.")

    However you do it, targeted traffic is the key. If you're not on Amazon and/or Ebay (or if your products are not suited for them) I would recommend marketing via Pinterest ("gift products" are PERFECT for this) Facebook, Twitter, etc. Good luck!
    Signature
    Click HERE to download my FREE guide and learn step by step how I make a 6 figure (profit) income selling real products online while automating and outsourcing most of the work! (no website necessary!)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8881448].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jacks146
    Hey there,
    You mentioned that you are likely to be using woocommerce. I recently built an online store (all digital products) using woocommerce, thought I'd share a couple of things:
    - Woocommerce may not work well with all Wordpress themes, try using a wootheme instead (I settled on Wootique).
    - There are a lot of useful plugins for Woocommerce, but they were a little expensive. I found a lot of useful ones at an affordable price at a site called wordpresspluginsclub.
    A couple of the plugins that made a big difference for me were checkout field editor (there are limited options to customize the checkout fields in woocommerce without this), subscriptions and memberships plugins.

    Hope this helps,

    Dan.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8885760].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Anton Louis
    Originally Posted by sweetcrabhoney18 View Post

    Hi!

    So I'm finally starting a nice online gift shop. I've been procrastinating about it for awhile now and think this spring might be a good time to finally start it.

    I'm curious how long it took you all that have stores to set up your stores and bring in your first sale? Did you wish you had started sooner on your stores?


    Thanks for the needed input!
    It took me months of research and then about one week to actually set up my first store. I am happy to say I made my first sale the same day I turned on my original Adwords campaign

    If you put in the time before launching by doing your market research correctly you're much more likely to see success faster.

    I tell people all day that market research means everything. You can do everything else right and still fail if you don't put in the work in the beginning.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8887385].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sweetcrabhoney18
    Thank you all for the much needed advice and motivation. I've become even more hyped and excited to start my store. Even with all the fears I have ; I still think it'll be a great success with all this advice.

    Thank you Daniel J -- I do hope to use pinterest to promote my goodies. I long considered ebay but then I noticed there is SO much competition there with much lower prices because the products aren't as high a quality as I hope to sale. I'd feel like a bug and being killed by all those big sellers. The last two things I listed got little views and didn't sale. But thanks for the great advice still!

    Thank you onutzah - I hope you get your store up soon. I don't really mind the wait but I do worry about taking a ton of time to make a sale. I think that marketing and branding are so important. Without a good looking site -- it won't get much action.

    Thank you jacks146 - I loved the theme you chose for your site ; super classy and simple. I'm hoping with luck I'll find a great woocommerce theme from themeforest. It's so nice to see the option of free themes for this plugin. Thank you tons for the extension advice. I wrote them in my notebook right away. I'm hoping they help me as much as they have helped you!

    Thank you Anton Louis - Amazing that you got your first sale the same day! That much have been such a good feeling. Were you able to make back your adwords investment in a short amount of time? I'm scared to use adwords because I don't know it so well -- picking out the keywords , the budgets and the text. I can feel myself getting a headache already! I think I'll search for some books on here before I take the leap into adwords. It's nice to hear that it actually works for stores still. Thank you tons for sharing your advice and story. I plan to spend a lot of time doing market research before I spend a ton of money or time into my store.

    Thank you all again for the advice. I feel my excitement growing more and more with each piece of advice I get. Please keep 'em coming!
    Signature

    keep moving forward

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8887435].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Anton Louis
      Originally Posted by sweetcrabhoney18 View Post

      Thank you Anton Louis - Amazing that you got your first sale the same day! That much have been such a good feeling. Were you able to make back your adwords investment in a short amount of time? I'm scared to use adwords because I don't know it so well -- picking out the keywords , the budgets and the text. I can feel myself getting a headache already! I think I'll search for some books on here before I take the leap into adwords. It's nice to hear that it actually works for stores still. Thank you tons for sharing your advice and story. I plan to spend a lot of time doing market research before I spend a ton of money or time into my store.
      Oh yeah! I was able to make a killing back then with Adwords but I launched my first store back in 2007 when clicks for this particular niche costs about 1/10th of what they do now!

      Don't let that worry you though. There are more ways than ever to advertise and you don't need Adwords to be profitable. I making more money now than I ever have and the only way I'm using Adwords is to fund my PLAs.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8887458].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author sweetcrabhoney18
        Originally Posted by Anton Louis View Post

        Oh yeah! I was able to make a killing back then with Adwords but I launched my first store back in 2007 when clicks for this particular niche costs about 1/10th of what they do now!

        Don't let that worry you though. There are more ways than ever to advertise and you don't need Adwords to be profitable. I making more money now than I ever have and the only way I'm using Adwords is to fund my PLAs.
        Oh that is so good to hear! Now I get it more; thanks for clarifying for me... Now I just have to think of more marketing methods that will be profitable. If only adwords clicks were as cheap as they were then -- lol.
        Signature

        keep moving forward

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8887472].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
        Originally Posted by Anton Louis View Post

        the only way I'm using Adwords is to fund my PLAs.
        Sorry, but what's a PLA?
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8999189].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author BacklinksPlus
    Wow after reading these posts I feel extra special. I setup my site yesterday. Took 1 day. Then made my first sake today. Granted I know the niche well. And knew how to make good PPC ad. If you need help et me know, I used to live in Lancaster lol
    Signature
    Venom Software
    Craigslist lead scraper mailer/Linkedin Bot
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8999514].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sweetcrabhoney18
      Originally Posted by BacklinksPlus View Post

      Wow after reading these posts I feel extra special. I setup my site yesterday. Took 1 day. Then made my first sake today. Granted I know the niche well. And knew how to make good PPC ad. If you need help et me know, I used to live in Lancaster lol
      Congrats! That is SUPER amazing to hear.
      Signature

      keep moving forward

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9001337].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DropShipDreams
    Do some research first. If you are going to be dropshipping you'll want a platform that allows you to import the vast number of products available to you using CSV. Otherwise you'll be sitting for hours downloading images, uploading images, copy and pasting descriptions, setting prices, weight, restrictions, color/size variations, etc.

    I did not do my research. I just dove in and used Squarespace. Built my site layout and theme while waiting to be approved by distributors...... only to find out that Squarespace has no way to import products unless it's from Shopify, Big Cartel, or Esty. Which makes no sense... unless you are just duplicating a store to increase exposure or something.

    So now I have a nice pretty store that I have to update inventory manually on every day and have to manually import products from this massive list of items my shoppers would be interested in. It's really frustrating.

    Also, Squarespace makes you use Stripe for payment processing, so check their terms of service. I failed to do that as well and now I can't sell some of the highest demand products on my store.

    Hope that saves at least one person some pain.

    If you are a boutique store or make the products yourself, it's fine. If you are trying to sell a lot of products from a niche using dropshippers... look elsewhere.

    I actually stumbled on your thread while looking on WF for reviews on the best platforms to build dropshipping sites.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9002483].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author onutzah
    hi! how's it going for you? did you launch?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9489512].message }}

Trending Topics