So I started my online business with Shopify in February 2014. I was introduced to it by a friend and found it extremely easy to use. I had no programming background at all and it was addictive. I previously had a WordPress website. But it was so ugly and I had to find ways to add a PayPal button to collect online payments. When I found out that Shopify had online payment checkout capabilities, I was blown away. I never looked back
Shopify allowed me to integrate key features like Google Analytics and download apps to easily extend the features. So if you’re thinking of starting an online store, use Shopify. I stand by it.
Moving on, my first year at Shopify and to be honest it’s been bad. I was paying $40-50 a month with no sales. For the whole year! Looks:
At that point I was still young and fortunately I didn’t have many commitments. So I considered it a hobby and enjoyed having a fully functional website even though I didn’t have a sale. I’ve had emails from time to time, but nothing concrete.
So the year 2014 came along and oddly enough, thanks to government grants like PIC, more and more companies have an online shop. This has actually helped increase confidence in online shopping. Also, my products tended to be niche, so I didn’t have much competition. I got more emails and more calls. My phone kept ringing! I wondered why. I search for keywords online and was shocked to see that the site ranked in the organic top 3 for most keywords that describe the site. In 2013 I was on page 100. I read somewhere before that if you want to hide a body, bury it on page 2 because no one will find it. And now I’m on the first page and top 3! Check out my sales in 2014:
I never thought my sales would skyrocket. I was excited.
I went into the site full time. I took courses to increase website traffic. Basically tons of books and YouTube videos to learn how to be a better online marketer. I started marketing abroad and started selling more and more. 2015 was a breakthrough for me because I felt like I had really entered the online scene.
I almost tripled my sales! There is no way back.
I felt like an online guru! I was thinking of starting an education center to share my knowledge. I wanted to make more money by helping people get an online store like mine. So I started and strangely my strategy didn’t work well for most of my “students”. I couldn’t explain why. So I stopped. I felt like a scammer. To this day I don’t know why. I think it was the first year that the site was continuously optimized, although there was no sale that helped the site reach the organic first page. No matter what other people say, ad traffic will never keep up with organic traffic. You can never get a link even if you pay for traffic. There are more elements to making an online sale and even more to making consistent online sales. Anyway, 2016 was another great year for me as more and more people started shopping online.
It was time for me to take the next step. Fighting the big boys
I always knew I had to innovate. The market became more and more crowded. My competition was no longer local SMEs. Amazon, Taobao, Qoo10, Lazada and many, many more have been the favorite places for online shoppers. They offered way more products, way better prices and they had all kinds of loyalty programs. I had to get better or else I’ll have to start looking for another job. I started making a video for every product or service I was selling. Of course I needed to keep my loyal customers, so I started my own loyalty program. While I knew I couldn’t compete with the international big boys, there was a niche in the market of high-end consumers who prefer reputable brands. I had to win this market. So the products I brought back with me afterwards were from well-known brands. I have also focused on services. All possible ways to make the website stand out from the mainstream websites. I didn’t do badly in 2017.
Despite the strong competition, I managed to keep my turnover. Although the days of crazy annual increases are over, I firmly believe that the market for online buyers will continue to grow. Let’s hope for a better performance in 2018.
Thanks to Adam Choong | #Online #shop #Singapore