Are you looking forward to starting an online clothing store? Do you get worried over what surprises and challenges you’ll face? Or are you the certain individual who thinks starting an online clothing store will be a cakewalk?
I have some suggestions for you. Since past few months, I have been the complete manager of an online clothing store. I manage both backend and front end. From order fulfillment to working my ass off on getting some orders – everything is my job.
I had always wanted to document my journey with this and today’s the first post.
Top 5 issues you need to address while setting up an online store
- Do you understand the backend of the site completely?
It’s the most crucial component to building a good online store. You see, being a marketer, I was pretty confident that I can make lots of sales on the website. I focused on digital marketing and got no results. Then one fine day, I looked back and saw what’s wrong.
And then I found a huge list of bad things with the site – slow loading time, improper placement of products, problems with product uploads, problems with product display and what not!
The first thing I did to address the problem was to move to a simpler platform. The site I am talking about was built in Magento and wasn’t doing great. All the efforts were going in vain.
I realized if I had to take over the site really, I must know how to use it in and out. The learning curve for Magento is pretty steep, and hence, I picked a platform I already knew how to use – WordPress.
The site redesigning was on the cards.
2. Development issues will make you freak out
But it surely wasn’t going to be easy. You see, most of us don’t know how to get work done. Often, we blame the person on the other end for not functioning properly. It may be very much possible that we’re right, but it may not be.
So, once the new website came into the picture, it was still a shitload of code that wasn’t going to get me sales. There were so many issues that had to be addressed and then the realization happened- don’t expect your website to be perfect in the first iteration.
I made peace with that and now, I am working on the second iteration of the WordPress online clothing store while I continue my efforts to bring more sales.
3. You will need to learn about Conversion optimization, eventually
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t just start making sales by making a working website. In fact, even after mastering Adwords, Facebook ads, SEO and other forms of digital marketing, you won’t be able to make sales.
The biggest problem that would be in front of you will be the one you won’t be able to see. You’ll need to find out what it is and solve it.
Conversion optimization is the technical term people use to work around this issue. It will usually come to your mind when you would have exhausted every possible way to make sales but still don’t see the numbers. Better work on it from day 1 to save yourself some time and loads of resources.
4. Order fulfillment issues will break you
Whosoever said that you just need to get orders online for having a successful online clothing store is WRONG. It doesn’t happen that way.
Even if you get a hundred orders a day, it wouldn’t matter as long as you’re equipped to fulfill those orders. And trust me! It will turn out to be much more complicated than you think.
Inventory management is the biggest headache for online store owners. Go and ask. You’ll know. It pains to cancel orders when you run out of stock while the item is still available on your online store. And then some of your best designs never hit the internet due to mismanagement. All these issues are real, and you will have to learn to streamline the inventory management process and get it fixed before you truly scale your store.
5. Setting up conversion tracking is not going to happen perfectly
One of the biggest mistakes business owners do is not tracking the conversions and conversion cost. Imagine that you spent a lakh rupees on Adwords and got 10000+ orders. You will call your campaign a success. Will you? It may be or may be not.
I hope you don’t. Because you shouldn’t. It’s not about the number of orders. It’s about the amount of profit you make. Tell me, is your Adwords account profitable? Did you ever check if it is?
Nowadays, all the advertising platforms – Facebook, Bing, Google Adwords are advanced enough to track conversions in a proper manner and provide you a transparent and detailed view of whether you’re making profits or just making sales.
Conversion tracking setup takes time. It takes multiple iterations. Trust me! Check every single time your developer or marketer says that he has set up the tracking completely. It will take multiple iterations actually to set them up completely.
Those are the top 5 things that come to my mind when I think of beginning an online clothing store. I haven’t gone into the legal side of the set up because I am not handling it. My focus is on creating the website correctly, doing marketing, making sales, fulfilling orders and then count my profits to strategize for the next round.
Be assured that this is the first post from much more to come that I am documenting for myself and in hopes that it may help somebody build a great business.