6 Easy Steps to CREATE a Money-making Etsy, Shopify or E-Commerce Website

I have been selling online since 2008.  I have three shops, two on Etsy and a Shopify store. I am often asked how do I do it all?  In addition to my online businesses I run a Real Estate Business and work as a Paralegal.  Yes how do I do I do it?  I often ask myself this, but I want to share my path to success and how I got there.

    1.  You must have a passion to what you do.  Whether your are an employee or business owner, if you don't enjoy what you are doing STOP.  Look at your life and decide what it is that you LOVE to do.  For me aside from having my business background I always had a passion to create.  I have two successful Etsy Shops, www.aggieray.etsy.com (sewing & home decor) and www.painttransferdesign.com together with our Shopify Shop, which I run with my daughter-in-law, Mara. 

    2.  You must have a dedicated place to create and process your orders.  If you don't have an area set up for this, you have to create one.  You need to be able to work in one location and leave that location "as is" so you can quickly come back to it.  Organize your work area into four parts.

    • Dedicated work space where you make your products.
    • Storage area where you store all your supplies to make your products.
    • Dedicated place for shipping supplies; i. e., boxes, envelopes, labels, thank you cards, business cards, etc.  
    • Dedicated Printing station for printing orders and shipping labels.  Office desk with computer and printers.  Investing in good equipment to run an efficient business is essential. It doesn't necessarily cost more.  Having the right equipment that saves time, is saving money.  One essential piece that I have is the Arkscan Label Printer.  It is a great investment.  Not only does it save you on Ink, it saves time and money in the long run.  No packing tape or ink required.  I spent so much money on ink cartridges until I purchased this amazing printer.  Stock up on shipping supplies.  USPS overs starter packages for Flat Rate Shipping and Priority Mail Envelopes and Boxes for free.  www.usps.com.  I have found USPS to be the best pricing and shipping option for my business, but depending on what you sell, Fedex or UPS make work well also.

    3.  Start your on-line business with a bang.  You must be prepared to WOW your customers with a beautiful website and many items to choose from.  Have you ever gone into a new store and only to find they have nothing to offer but a few items. The same remains true for your e-commerce site.  You must have a variety of products and options for your customers to choose from.  Create items with listing variations whether it is size, color or quantity options. 

    4.  Take amazing photographs, videos and write clear and concise listing descriptions.  You must research how to take photographs and videos. Search You Tube for how to take listing photographs and videos.  Again, it doesn't have to be expensive.  You can use your camera phones with amazing results.  Think about your CUSTOMER.  If they were to see your product in person, what do they need to see?

    • Front of your product, top, bottom, side, outside, inside (think of a 3D image of your product).
    • Describe your product and list everything possible.  Size, color, and use for the product.
    • How will this make their life better?  Describe how it will in the listing description.  You must tell a story with your descriptions.
    •  Videos are not available for listing photos.  Show the product whatever way you can.
    • Stage your products as you would see them in their setting.  Are you selling home decor?  How would this look in their home.  Don't just take a picture of the product, stage the items as if they were located in the customer's home.  Selling T-Shirts?  How do they look on a model?  How do they look with different clothing sets?  Be creative, you can do this!

    5.  EXCELLENT Customer service is essential for a business to survive.

    • Response time to questions should be immediate.  Connect everything to your smart phone so you can respond in an appropriate time frame.
    • Don't be obsessed about negative feedback.  The way you respond to it is key.  You know the statement "the customer is always right".  Well they are.  If they leave negative feedback, that is your way to improve what you are doing.  Respond to your customer in a calm manner.  Don't ATTACK the customer for what they say.  Explain your side of the situation and ask them how can we improve or how can I help you fix your problem.  Sometimes it may be that the customer didn't understand something about what you sell or suggest an alternative to what they have.  Yes you will get negative feedback no matter how efficient you are, it happens, move on and learn from it.
    • Fast shipping times.  In this instant world, customers need to know when and how fast they will receive their items.  Tell the truth.  Sugar coating your shipping process will not help your business. If there is some reason something is going to be delayed, tell them right away.  They want to be assured that what they paid for is coming to them in an efficient manner.   Most of my customers are appreciative when I tell them the reason for a shipping delay.  Knowledge is power to both you and your customers.

    6.  HAVE FUN:  If this is not fun, then it's not going to be successful!  Love what you do and you will have success in return!