Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Experiment :: Setting Up Shop

I have been a BUSY BEE!!!

On Saturday my blog post was about the EXPERIMENI'm embarking on.  Folksy vs My Very Own Shop!

As I mentioned in my last post I decided to go with a 'free' shop providing website thingy (I'm not the best a technical terms .. I'm sure there's a proper name for these things, but don't have a clue what it is!)

So every spare minute for the last few days (when I wasn't fighting off Twitter hackers - ARGGHHHHH!!) I've spent setting up my new shop on Shopcreator

I fairly quickly got to grips with the tools available and now have a shop ... yay!!


I'm using the Transact product on Shopcreator, a supposedly 'free' shop.  And it is free ... so long as you don't sell anything!  Assuming you do (and that is kind of the point!) you start paying a % of your turnover.  5.5% up to the first £500 ('first'?!? I'd be extremely grateful, and frankly astounded, if I get anywhere near a 'the only' £500).

Because it is 'free' it definitely has its limitations ... but equally it does what it says on the tin, and it pretty easy to use.  So here are my pros & cons of Shopcreator Transact:

The GOOD BITS
:o)  There is a very straightforward 5 step process to setting up your shop (template, logo, products, other info, payment & shipping)

:o) You can buy your own domain name through Shopcreator and it automatically does all the set up for you - perfect for a numptie like me!

:o) If you buy your domain name from Shopcreator it will forward any email address made up 'something-or-other' @yourdomainname.co.uk to the email address you have registered with Shopcreator.  It works ... I tried it ... with some really bizarre 'something-or-others'!!

:o) If you already have your own domain name you can use this too ... I didn't use this option, so can't comment too much ... looked slightly more complicated than buying it through Shopcreator, but if it is like anything else on the site which I've tried, I doubt it would be too onerous.

:o) Listing your items is really simple and quick (much quicker than Folksy!) and you can chose up to 3 categories in your shop to put them into.

:o) The categories themselves are very clever (to simple little me!).  If there is nothing in a category, the category doesn't show in your shop .. genius!

:o) The email support works: I had one problem, which I couldn't find an answer too in the Shopcreator forum, so I emailed them.  I got a response within a couple of hours ... turned out the problem was with them not me (always good!) ... and it was sorted very quickly afterwards.

The NOT-SO-GOOD BITS

:o(  There are only a limited number of templates to use, and as far as I can tell, apart from changing the colour theme, there ain't much else you can do to improve them

:o( Though you can receive email using 'absolutely-anything'@yourdomainname.co.uk, I haven't work out yet if I can send messages from 'absolutely-anything'@yourdomainname.co.uk or use it as the standard contact email address which gets automatically posted on your site.  

:o( You can only post one pic per item in your shop, so I need to make sure it's a good 'un.  ... I'm working on my photography skills, so hopefully they'll improve with time!

:o( The biggest NOT-SO-GOOD BIT I've discovered so far is that there is no stock control / inventory tool ... so basically someone could come along and order 1,000 of one item, when I only have one to sell.  And I doubt that once an item has been sold it will automatically disappear from the shop.  This means I will need to be ultra-vigilant and remove items from the shop as soon as I find out they are sold.  To help this along I have put 'ONLY 1 AVAILABLE' in CAPS! on each listing, in the hope that people will pay attention and not order 1,000 in one go!  I think I'd probably have a heart attack if they did.  I also need to make sure I don't list too many things that I can't make another one of!


So far there are more GOOBITS than NOT-SO-GOOD BITS (though it is yet to be seen how much of a problem the lack of stock control will become).

There have been an awful lot of words in this post haven't there!  Would you like some pics to look at?  Maybe some of the lovely little things available in my new 'very own' shop? ..oh OK then!




Want to see more??  Have a look at my 'very own' shop!!


What do you think? ... any feedback gratefully received!

"What's next then?" I hear you ask ... 

Well ... I've set up my Google Analytics account this evening (hopefully it will be working sometime tomorrow) so I can see the comings and goings.  Now I need to think about promotion.  I need to set up my Adwords account, that's my job for tomorrow evening; I'll also promote via Twitter like I do when I list new things on Folksy.

Scientific bit :: I'll try to make this as scientific as possible by listing similar things in my 'very own' shop and my Folksy shop at the same time, and promoting them in a similar way.  The only intentional difference will be that I will have Adwords set up for my 'very own' shop and not for my Folksy shop.

Ooh and at some point I'll need to find time to make stuff to sell ... minor issue ;-}

Let see how it goes!

3 comments:

  1. sounds interesting - looking forward to seeing the results! following you now too

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  2. Good luck with your new shop! I have an Adwords account but have found that I still get more hits via Twitter and Facebook, it would be interesting to know if others have much luck with it!

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  3. Thank you for this. as someone just thinking about sticking my toe into selling this is very interesting stuff. Like you I would be ecstatic to make £500 let alone more :D

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