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Opening A Web Store -- Seeking Advice From You Pros Out There

This is a discussion on Opening A Web Store -- Seeking Advice From You Pros Out There within the Coffee Websites forums, part of the Coffee Industry category; We're ready to open a web store . I'm looking at doing some Google advertising, maybe Facebook as well to get traffic. I'm thinking about ...

  1. #1
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    Opening A Web Store -- Seeking Advice From You Pros Out There

    We're ready to open a web store. I'm looking at doing some Google advertising, maybe Facebook as well to get traffic. I'm thinking about just keeping it simple and having people send me an email listing the coffee they want. I send them a PayPal invoice. They pay. I ship.

    But there is not as much immediacy in that as opposed to a store where you fill you shopping cart and pay. That way there is less time to think about not going through wth a transaction.

    What do you think for just starting out? Test the waters with the slower, multi-step scenario or go ahead and put up a store?

    If put up a store I'm thinking about Wazala as the software for the store. Does anyone have experience with that or would you recommend something else?

    Finally I've done a lot of Google advertising in past lives but have no experience with Facebook advertising. Has anyone got any insights on one versus the other and how effective Facebook is or can be?
    Wrinkles only go where the smiles have been -- Jimmy Buffett (via Mark Twain)

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    Quote Originally Posted by expat View Post
    We're ready to open a web store. I'm looking at doing some Google advertising, maybe Facebook as well to get traffic. I'm thinking about just keeping it simple and having people send me an email listing the coffee they want. I send them a PayPal invoice. They pay. I ship.

    But there is not as much immediacy in that as opposed to a store where you fill you shopping cart and pay. That way there is less time to think about not going through wth a transaction.

    What do you think for just starting out? Test the waters with the slower, multi-step scenario or go ahead and put up a store?

    If put up a store I'm thinking about Wazala as the software for the store. Does anyone have experience with that or would you recommend something else?

    Finally I've done a lot of Google advertising in past lives but have no experience with Facebook advertising. Has anyone got any insights on one versus the other and how effective Facebook is or can be?
    First of all, it depends a lot on your budget. How much you have to start. I don't have any experience with Wazala, however, I would recommend using Wordpress (less expensive) or Concrete5 (slightly more expensive, but you can customize it more).

    As with any online store, you need to be competitive and of course drive traffic in any way you can. I would suggest having a simple shopping cart to start, and of course on your website have content to help keep bringing people back. A blog works wonders for this. Maybe coffee recipes, articles on news about coffee in the world, or something to help attract people.

    If you use Wordpress or Concrete5, you can get social sharing plugins and those will allow you to aggregate directly to Twitter and Facebook, that way you don't need to spend money on FB ads.

    The truth is, Google is really expensive, and people tend to think of it as the "be all, end all" in terms of getting traffic. It's not. Google is the bully of the internet, and the majority of traffic for many sites comes from other sources anyway.

    With Google, you can expect to pay $0.20 anywhere up to $5 a click depending on your keywords, and that is a lot. Facebook isn't much better, with $0.05 (maybe) to $0.16 a click minimum. The best way is to have good content, and then have people sharing that content. Do a viral marketing video, have a Christmas Card to share with "Happy Holidays From... "Your Store". All these are one off costs (some cases free) and can get you traffic long after any PPC campaign has ended.

    There are many people who can help you out with this, and lots of information online...

    Good luck

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    Thanks for the detailed information. Our website -- davenportcoffee dot com -- is hosted on WordPress so I'll take a look at their store and implementing some of your other ideas.

    We are blogging but I should probably up the frequency so I'll work on that. The folks at HubSpot.com say that's the most important traffic driver. I don't know if it is the "most" but I do know it is important.

    Finally we are already scripting some 30-45 second home-made videos. The idea is to be completely zany and off the wall in the hopes that one of them will go viral. When we get those up I'll post here and maybe this group viewing them can start the contagion!
    Wrinkles only go where the smiles have been -- Jimmy Buffett (via Mark Twain)

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    Quote Originally Posted by expat View Post
    Thanks for the detailed information. Our website -- davenportcoffee dot com -- is hosted on WordPress so I'll take a look at their store and implementing some of your other ideas.

    We are blogging but I should probably up the frequency so I'll work on that. The folks at HubSpot.com say that's the most important traffic driver. I don't know if it is the "most" but I do know it is important.

    Finally we are already scripting some 30-45 second home-made videos. The idea is to be completely zany and off the wall in the hopes that one of them will go viral. When we get those up I'll post here and maybe this group viewing them can start the contagion!
    You know what's really "cool" nowadays and one is really easy to learn, or two, really cheap to buy is those "hand drawn videos" you can get one drawn up for you for $5 (and if you want to add some bells and whistles say a max of $20 to $30) Check out a place like Fiverr or similar and get an ad made up. And post it to twitter, to Facebook, etc. Make it go viral. Make sure you have your branding on it as well. You can also do a "vlog" (video blog) of yourself making coffee recipes if you don't like typing a lot. Actually.. That's an awesome idea for a video site... Those hand drawn videos for recipes..

    I'm in the midst of creating my own website as well (actually have sort of sat on it for 3 months) nothing to do with coffee, but I certainly know where I went wrong before, so I know where I am going to go RIGHT this time.

    One last bit of advice, don't rush it, and start with a cookie cutter template, but do spend a little bit on customization. One of the good things about Wordpress is that down the road if you want to get a completely redesigned site, you can still keep your wordpress blog a part of it, and just move it to another part of the site.. I was kinda dumb and killed my Wordpress Version to install Concrete5 (all content saved) but I could have saved myself some time from doing the blog part from scratch had I taken the time to look and see you can embed your wordpress blog into Concrete5...

    You know how I felt at that point?




    *sigh.....

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    Hey MyMugsHalfFull, thanks for your comments. Maybe this is just a 'me and you' conversation, but that's fine, I appreciate your experience.

    Right now I use WordPress but host it though the hosting company I use so technically I use WordPress.org. One good thing with that is you get access to a lot of good plugins to help promote your site. Or, I guess it is a good thing because I'm just starting to use the plugins. But WordPress is so nice and easy, anyone who is contemplating a site should check it out. Simple and easy and a ton of resources all for free or a token fee.

    As to the videos I'm thinking of real people and live action. We've got about 10 scripts in the bag (having a couple of teenagers around to brainstorm with helps keep the scripts really zany and up-to-date -- so if you don't have any teenagers handy I suggest you get some ). We're hoping to have some videos up after the first of the year so keep your eye on our site. See us here: www.davenportcoffee.com
    Wrinkles only go where the smiles have been -- Jimmy Buffett (via Mark Twain)

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    Dreaming of riches from the internet even with a coffee site that you have great passion about will take work. Not that you can't do it but know what you want and how to go about it. It won't happen overnight. But maybe a few hundred nights and you'll get there.

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    How to Start?

    [QUOTE=expat;53749]Hey MyMugsHalfFull, thanks for your comments. Maybe this is just a 'me and you' conversation, but that's fine, I appreciate your experience.

    Right now I use WordPress but host it though the hosting company I use so technically I use WordPress.org. One good thing with that is you get access to a lot of good plugins to help promote your site. Or, I guess it is a good thing because I'm just starting to use the plugins. But WordPress is so nice and easy, anyone who is contemplating a site should check it out. Simple and easy and a ton of resources all for free or a token fee.

    As to the videos I'm thinking of real people and live action. We've got about 10 scripts in the bag (having a couple of teenagers around to brainstorm with helps keep the scripts really zany and up-to-date -- so if you don't have any teenagers handy I suggest you get some ). We're hoping to have some videos up after the first of the year so keep your eye on our site. See us here: /QUOTE]


    This is always a tough question about, "How do I start".

    Let's start with Platform/CMS. I'd recommend WP for 100 products of less. But, I've learned to love Magento for sites that grow to 1k-10k skus+. It is robust, but it has killer features.

    With that said, my background is, I've been an Internet Marketing Consultant for some time (5-6years). I've ranked #1 in Google for SEO expert and Top 10 seo consultant.

    With that said, I've managed PPC (Adwords), CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization), Social Media, Email marketing etc.

    At the end of the day it's about widening the funnel like this:

    1. Increase Traffic
    2. Get Visitors to View Product
    3. Get Visitors to Add-to-Cart
    4. Get Add-to-cart visitors to Checkout Page
    5. Completed order

    There is Tons that goes into this this.

    1. With this step above traffic can be Organic (all Search Engines), PPC, Referral traffic, Email, Direct and Branded terms (falls under Organic and PPC) are most common.
    2. This is critical when it comes to design and site layout/navigation. It has to be simple, straightforward, and easy to find items. LARGE search functions are critical. Look at eBay, Amazon etc. They all have large search boxes. There is way more here, but this is the overview.
    3. Once an item is added to cart you HAVE to get them to the checkout page. Remind them of Free Shipping, that the Site is Secure, and a Proceed to checkout button that is above the fold of the page (so they don't have to scroll, it kills your site's sales and conversions)
    4. Checkout Page- Make this page simple, and remind them of trust using trust badges.
    5. Completed Order- You've won. They've completed the order, so now just worry about fulfillment.

    Let me know if this helps or if you have any questions.

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    Just some quick thoughts, I just took a quick look at your website and basically my very first reaction is that it’s a little difficult to find the store. So when I visit the website, initially I see the Davenport Specialty Coffee Roasters and some pictures, look like kind of a blog set up. But if I wasn't looking for the store, I would try to turn away at this point.

    If I were you, my recommendation is replace that banner with a big old “buy coffee here” and a button. You just want that right upfront because that’s what you want people to do if they visit you. So, that’s just a straight recommendation for you, and then also do that as well in every post. Like when people visit, you want them to go to the store and buy. And if that’s not blindly obvious, it does not need to be ugly of course you can make it nice and cinematic design but it has to be there.

    -transcribed and posted for Joseph @ JR Mobile by Mark

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    Thanks expat, MyMugsHalfFull, BagsofBeansCoffee, and everyone else... I hope more experienced people post what's working for them. I too am wanting to learn how to get the best from on line marketing.

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    Don't forget about sites like reddit, digg, pinterest, etc.

 

 
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