Category Archives: How to

How will I receive money from my buyers?

The ultimate point of having an online store is to give you the freedom to sell worldwide without the trouble of attending every handcrafter’s fairs, exhibitions or local handcrafters markets. This also implies that you will receive money from your buyers, some of them you will never meet in person. So how exactly can you receive money from your buyers? Let’s find out!

First of all, you need to set the currency for your Shoptsie store. Based on the currency you chose you will get a list of available payment methods.

Cash on delivery: this basically means that you will receive cash money and the buyer pays when the order arrives at their doorstep. Some advantages of this payment method include increased store credibility and buyer doesn’t need to have credit card or online payment accounts.

Bank transfer: your customers have the possibility to transfer you the price of the ordered products either by using their online banking or physically going to the bank and transferring the money to your bank account.

PayPal Payment: your buyers can transfer you the money via PayPal.
Connect your PayPal account with your Shoptsie store. Shoptsie uses Payments Standard so your customers will be redirected to PayPal’s site in order to complete their purchase. You need a valid PayPal Premier or Business to receive payment. PayPal fees apply.

Credit Card: your buyers can pay you by using their credit cards. At the moment Soldigo supports the following payment gateways: PayFast, VSC, 2Checkout. More to follow. Suggest what other payment gateways you would like to see.

How will the orders be shipped to the buyer’s address?

Find out all there is to know about shipping your products to your buyers. First and foremost, you need to be using the Shipping Application in order to be able to ship your lovely products. You can add shipping fees by using our Shipping options app and you can add as many shipping methods as you like. The app is designed to allow you to add shipping options for example your local post service, a courier service and other methods as well.

You need to decide where exactly do you want to ship: worldwide or to selected countries only. First of all you need to name your shipping option. Simply fill in the name field with the desired name (for ex. DHL 1-3 days or United States Postal Service 3-5 days, etc). Select where you wish to ship. You have two options to choose from:
in the whole world – will list all the countries in the checkout page
in the following countries – you can select the desired countries and only these will be listed on the checkout page.

You need to decide what kind of shipping rate do you wish to use: flat shipping rate or weight based shipping rate. Select what kind of shipping rate you offer. You can select from two options. Your first option is to offer a flat shipping rate, which will charge one standard price for all purchases made in your shop with this specific shipping option. Your second option is to offer weight based shipping rate. This option calculates the shipping fees based on the total weight of all products in the order. For this, you need to set up the weight ranges. The first interval will range from 0 and the amount that you set. To cap this range you will need to add a new range. To do this click the “Add weight range” button. You can freely decide which unit you wish to use, g, kg or lbs. Whichever unit you choose, make sure you use them consistently.
For orders that weigh more than the maximum weight range you can:
1. Use flat shipping price for orders over the maximum weight
2. Set price for every additional 1 g/kg/lbs

Make sure that you Save the shipping option. Now you are ready to ship.

Adding free shipping: You can set free shipping for orders over a certain value. To do this check the Do you offer free shipping? option, enter the chosen value and save it.

Free local pickup: Free Local Pickup allows your buyers to pick up their orders themselves from a given address. To add the address, check the Do you offer free local pickup? option, enter the address and save it.

The Shipping fees will be calculated on the checkout page of your Soldigo store.

How to get your first buyer part 5 – Social Media

Social media is extremely important when trying to get your message across and getting your products “out there”. Creating profiles on existing social media in itself is not enough, so follow these 9 go-to tips and make the most of it to benefit your online store and your selling experience.

  • First of all, reserve your brand’s name on every social media possible, I’m talking about Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Ello etc. This helps your following to locate you everywhere online and if you think about it, there is really no point in building your brand unless you are consistent. Make sure they are all the same.
  • Cross-reference to your other social media accounts and reach a wider audience. If you tweet about one of your products, include a direct link where they can purchase it from (use https://goo.gl/ to shorten the URL, and so you have more space left for product description or a caption). Images always catch the eye, so including a product image into your tweets is a must.
  • Since all social media has a huge community, an individual post can easily get lost in the whirlwind of post after post. To avoid this, post the same thing multiple times, from time to time. Make sure your niche audience can actually see what you are trying to communicate to them.
  • Whenever someone asks you a question, or comments a question under one of your posts, make sure to reply promptly. They don’t have the time to wait for you and they will move on to another page where they do get their answers and fast. The easiest way is to set all your social media accounts onto your phone, so you get a notification instantly. Remember, the faster, the better.
  • Try and think with the head of your buyers and create content that they are interested in. Why should they buy your bag? What is their benefit in that? Always emphasize a feature that they will find attractive and convincing (, not you).
  • Online presence is truly efficient only if you are frequent. Posting twice a month is really worse than not posting at all because your followers tend to forget about you while they focus on other shop’s posts that are “in their faces’ all the time. Test what works best for you and your following and if you lose them slowly, you either need to step up your posting game, or -on the contrary- slow down, no one needs 6 posts every day. Three times a week should be a good start.
  • If you don’t have the time to spend hours in from of the computer worrying about your posts, use https://www.buffer.com/ and schedule your posts in advance. Whenever you have some free time, produce the content you wish to post and just set the date and time. Now you can sit back and work on your products rather than worrying about posts and frequency.
  • Be relevant and incorporate timely events into your posts, besides Christmas and New Year’s Eve, don’t forget about St Patrick’s Day, No Shave November etc. Show your followers that you care and that you are in tune of what’s going on.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions from your followers, you will be surprised to see how active and involved they are and you will find great tips from them. Connect and share is the best policy.

How to get your first buyer part 4 – Forums

Participating in forums is an amazing and highly efficient way of online marketing, when it is done the right way.

The appeal of forums is that they are basically the most targeted place you can imagine that gathers product-specific customers and that really sounds like a dream when it comes to finding your target audience. However, do not jump into it without careful consideration, because these forums can easily ban you and that means one step ahead and three backwards.

We have gathered some of the most important things to consider when thinking about dealing with forums, so here they are:

  • Finding forums should be pretty easy, you simply google it and there you have it. Type in your field followed by the word “forum” or “message board” and voila.
  • For the love of God, do not spam. The same way you get annoyed when you receive information that you haven’t asked for, is exactly the way you can be annoying by shoving down your information that they didn’t need on someone’s throat. Show respect for these communities and have respect for your store and brand as well, will spamming be worth the bad reputation? Didn’t think so.
  • Joining a forum starts with signing up, instead of a random picture, upload a photo of yourself to build the initial trust and you are good to go. Neglect links that promote your business for now. Spend some time reading through the talks and comments and try to get a taste of what they like and dislike, what is considered spamming and the style they use to conversate. Pay close attention as these are the people that are very likely to becoming your buyers soon.
  • Shift your focus from self-promotion to helping mode. Answer the questions of people that you have the answer to and just try to be an all-around helping person who they can count on, this gives you great credibility and trust and you will slowly become a well-respected member of the forum.
  • In time, after building a real connection, you can update the bio section and include your link or even get the permission to have a signature that will direct towards your business. Take baby steps and get in contact with the moderators of the forum and ask them to post about your Shoptsie shop and to advertise your products and if they see you are committed and are genuinely in it to help and answer a necessity rather than promote yourself, they will go for it. So remember, work before glory.

How to get your first buyer part 3 – Blogging

Blogging can be a very convenient way of self-promotion, there are practically no costs and the only trick is to create relevant and evergreen content that will appeal to your existing and your potential customers for years to come.

Make sure you invest the creative time and energy, do your research and put out content that is truly valuable and awesome.

Stay away from boring topics. If you struggle to write the blog post, that is a good indication that people will struggle reading it. Make it detailed, enjoyable, practical and keep it smart and brief, nobody will have the time to read page after page of long sentences with no true meaning. The “How to” type of posts are sure to bring a lot of attention, since they usually provide a clear set of instructions on how to use or when to use a certain product, so use that recipe as often as you can.

Don’t neglect the importance of a good title. If it isn’t compelling or interesting, your readers will never make it past the title. Pay attention to how you use words to capture attention, and remember, you are writing for them, not for yourself.

Your style of writing should be friendly and informal. Imagine that the people you are writing to are sitting right in front of you, so touch a tone that is approachable and your readers will find your post interesting and relatable.

Use quality pictures in your posts. Keep in mind that people are visual, so a picture will capture and keep their attention and a blog post that has pictures in it has a higher chance of actually being read than the ones that are just text.

Be systematic about your blogging. You should be able to produce relevant content that is both useful and creative on a regular basis and the results will pop up in no time, so consistency is key.

Use your blog to keep in touch with your followers, readers and customers and show them aspects of your personal life as well so they have a face or a story they can relate to. Be human and friendly. That goes over so much better and establishes instant connection.

After you posted to your blog, never miss to share it onto your other social media accounts. That will obviously increase the chance of new people finding it and starting to follow you and that will eventually lead to a boost in your sales. Spread the word!

Keep an eye on forums and conversations that take place in certain groups on social media. Whenever someone needs information or help, share the link of your blog as a reply comment and offer to help them in case they have further questions. For example you have liked a Facebook group that gathers mothers and one of them asks where she could find quality diapers. If you happen to sell diapers, feel free to share the link of your store or of your blog post that is relevant to this question. Remember, you are not selling but rather solving a problem or a necessity.

Guest blog:

Try to guest-post on other people’s blogs or have them share the link that directs to your blog on their social media. Find blogs that have a great number of followers and that are updated often. The more links that lead back to you, the better, and it will increase trust towards you. When you guest post, mention your information as well in the form of a signature, so people can easily find you afterwards.

Approach blogs that are related to your field or domain since they are the most likely to accept guest posts on the topic that they also promote, plus the audience is also field-specific. Make a list of blogs where you would love to post and keep a record of who you already sent an email to and who is still to be approached. The more people you email, the higher the chances of being accepted for guest blogging.

Guest blogging is an amazing way of increasing your customers and many people will gladly give you a shoutout or give you a hand and don’t forget to reciprocate when someone asks you for the same favor.

How to get your first buyer part 2 – Email

Marketing your brand and promoting your products to increase your sales is no rocket science but there are some steps you might want to follow when putting yourself out there for the world to see. One of these steps should involve emails and email marketing and although people tend to overlook the importance of it, it is a powerful marketing strategy.

Start your own newsletter. Attracting and keeping potential customers once you created an email newsletter seems a bit of a struggle since there are so many newsletters out there that people are fed up with them. This is why you need to make sure to be different in your approach.

Offer an incentive. People love benefits and they love knowing that they’re getting something for free so make sure you offer an incentive that is both useful and valuable. You should offer them content of value that they can download for free once they subscribe or for instance you can offer a $3 discount for every new subscriber, so you’re not only increasing your mailing list and your subscribers but you are also enabling increased sales. Regardless of what your products are, you can always offer a free sample or a snippet of your books, your music, your photography or your earrings.

Try to find people who are willing to share their newsletter space with you or have you featured in their newsletter. You can also think in terms of collaboration so for example if your products are purses, find someone who sells shoes and so you could promote your products together.

Email your friends and family. Needless to say, they already know you and trust the product you are promoting so it is very likely that they will be your very first customers. Once they bought your product and they are happy with it, they continue branding it for you by telling other people about it and recommending it further and having this type of referral is really priceless for your Shoptsie store.

As a bonus, make sure you have a signature in your e-mails and mention the name of your Shoptsie webshop to increase awareness and spread the word. You never know who might become interested in your products by seeing your signature.

After gathering a certain increasing number of subscribers you have to make sure you don’t neglect them. Keep in touch with them. The last thing you want is to have subscribers forget about you and unsubscribe especially after you invested this much time and energy into finding them. Send them emails on a regular basis featuring relevant content you are writing or news about you or inform them about the newest products, updates, discounts, send them links, follow up and ask them how they liked the incentive etc. Keep in mind that they respond to valuable content, not just any content, so make sure you produce that along with a diverse presentation to capture their attention and not only to retain them but also to have them buy your products.

How to get your first buyer part 1 – Friends and family

Finding the first person to sell to may seem like such an overwhelming thing to do, especially if you don’t know where to start and how to go about it.

That is one great reason why you should always start promoting your products to your friends and family first. These are the people that already know you and you could easily turn these contacts into successfully making your first sale. Don’t shy away from this opportunity thinking that they aren’t real customers, because they are! You need to understand that unlike the new potential customers, your friends and family have already developed a sense of trust in you and you could make the most of it by presenting your products to them and since you know them, you know who might use which of your products, so go for it! Think of your friends list on Facebook, they already know you and trust you, so they might as well be your first customers. Same thing applies to your email contacts list. Browse through the friends and family that you are in touch with and you presume might be interested in your products and send them messages. Asking never hurt anybody.

This is a great way to spread your brand since they will tell other people about your products, they will recommend your Shoptsie shop and they will talk about how pretty and useful your products are, and most importantly, by bringing this information to their immediate circle of friends, colleagues etc. they are contributing to the increase of your chances for further sales, your credibility and your visibility as well.

Having your relatives and closest friends buy your products offers you valuable information on the demographics of who you are really targeting. Whenever someone is interested in your products, make a mental note on their age and gender since these clues will do you a great favor in the long run of selling. You can use this information to initiate further promotion campaigns that are more target- specific and therefore will likely be more successful.

Selling to your family and friends comes with multiple benefits and they are also very quick to recommend your products so use this to your advantage and promote your brand by having them write testimonials about your products and shop. These testimonials are incredibly valuable and you can use them on your site, next to your products and this will instill trust towards your brand. However, don’t go overboard with these testimonials and their feedback, since they know you and love you, they will feel compelled to always give you positive feedback and praise your work and products and this subjectivity doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with the reality check you need from time to time to make actual improvements that are necessary to grow and prosper. Everyone has the natural tendency to want to be loved and accepted but in this case an objective opinion gives you a clear image of who you are targeting, who your products are for, and who you shouldn’t waste advertising money on. Thank the haters for telling you the right direction!

How will people find my online store?

Setting up an online store can be such an exciting adventure and the creative artist and handcrafters put their heart and soul into perfecting their store and preparing it to be in tune with the vibe and feel of their products. Next comes the question, so what’s next? How will people actually find out about my store and how will they find it?

It would be naive to think that setting up an online store is enough. The store needs customers in order to live and to fulfill its purpose. Creating an online store is just the first step in wanting to sell online. You, as the owner of the online store, need to attract and to retain customers. How? By using our Soldigo apps.

We have created a set of special applications that are meant to attract and to retain customers so you can boost your store and ultimately your sales.

 

apps

 

Here are the main Apps for attracting customers like Discount codes, Facebook store, Store widget, Contests, SEO Manager, On Sale.
Here are the main Apps for retaining customers like Tawk.to customer chat, Shipping options, Contests, Back in Stock, Save my Cart, Product recommendations.

Read more about every app and what they are all about: https://soldigo.com/apps

Another extremely important thing is the social media presence. Think of the social media as a helpful tool that will give you exposure and that will bridge the gap between geographical distances. As long as you are online, you are accessible worldwide. And that is something you might seriously want to consider!

How to get your products featured in blogs, magazines and newspapers

Getting featured in a blog or a magazine is a tremendous opportunity to promote your products and to bring awareness to your brand and business, not to mention the readers are your specific niche of potential customers.
Here is a list of tips and tricks that will work for you and get you featured:

  • Take the time to understand your audience and how they think. This will give you a great benefit when connecting with bloggers and editors who view your products from the point of view of readers’ benefit.
  • Magazines and blogs that might consider featuring you need to see that you are professional, committed and talented, and nothing reflects that better than a great online store that will work as a catalogue to display your products. Make sure you chose a Shoptsie theme that is in tune with your products and has the same vibe as the personality, mood and atmosphere of your products, be it candles, paintings, hair oil or bow tie.
  • Professional looking product pictures are a must, even if they are not taken by a professional photographer. Make sure you have a variety of product pictures at hand, both with white background and also in a life-like environment. You just have to have those so editors and bloggers have what they need to work with and make a collage or arrange the pictures to be in tune with their blog, magazine etc.
  • Find a referral for yourself. One of the easiest ways of establishing trust with the editor of any publication is to find someone who had already been featured and have that person recommend you to the editor. This usually results in instant trust and you are ten steps closer to being featured.
  • Attend niche-specific trade shows and do some networking with relevant journalists, bloggers and editors and find out if their publications do product review. If they do, send them yours.
  • When sending emails to editors, journalists and bloggers, make sure your subject line is captivating but never go overboard. Find the balance between what you are comfortable with one the one hand and be unique and draw attention on the other. Imagine these bloggers receiving tens of similar emails daily, so make sure yours will pop.
  • Send product samples along with a brief product description, either to the editor or better yet, to the person who writes the product reviews. Give them all the help they might need to write about your product. What better way to do that than to have them see and touch your product while reading its description?
  • Be ready to write a pitch about your business and most importantly, your products. Practise makes perfect, so keep on writing and find that unique angle and special twist that will engage people and keep them interested. Remember, it is all about why your products are different from everything that was made so far and how would the readers benefit in case you got featured. Find that one twist and promote, promote, promote.
  • Do your homework research and study the publication that you would like to be featured in. Most magazines have a reader’s section where they feature a couple of their readers, so that might be a great start to get featured. Having your name and your web store’s link featured in magazines might be of immense help.
  • You might think that getting featured is a difficult task but there are a number of sites that look for sources and products to be featured, where you can subscribe as the “source” and they might feature your products in field-relevant magazines and blogs.
  • Try to find newsletters that promote the featuring of products from your niche and subscribe and stay tuned.
  • Approach journalists, bloggers and magazine editors and pitch them about you products. However, you need to keep in mind that your pitch should emphasize their benefit, so why featuring you is good for the blog, why is it useful for the magazine’s readers etc. It’s a give and take and both parties need to have their time worthwhile.
  • Approach an editor in a friendly manner, and try following them on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, and do a bit of background research on the style of that editor as to customize your pitch to reflect the vibe of the magazine. Although the point is to have you and your business propelled forward, make sure to include some general information about your industry, maybe even some statistics, because the readers need something easy to digest and they need to see the big picture.

How to get your products noticed by the press

Having an online following is an amazing way to get your products out there and have people talk about you and your great products and although there are many advantages to being known online, you might also want to give the local buyers a shot and promote yourself locally.
One of the best ways to achieve that is to get featured in local media of any kind (online or offline), be it radio, newspapers or even the local news. People listen to the radio and are usually watching the news, so it couldn’t hurt to try it. And people are also much more open to supporting someone familiar and supporting the community. Getting featured increases your credibility, places you on the map and creates new audience and new opportunities for your business.

Here are 5 ways you can get noticed by the press (and slowly grow your empire):

  • Get featured in the local talk show. Every smaller community has a talk show type of show where they have guests featured and interviewed and they talk about their accomplishments or ideas, so why not you? Fortunately, these shows are in a constant search for the next story and the next person to be interviewed, so turn this to your advantage and pitch your business’ idea to the producer of the show. This might sound frightening but focus on what makes you special and what differentiates you from all the other similar businesses and build your pitch around this, also mention how you can be contacted, your Shoptsie web store address (so people can take a look at your products beforehand, if they want) and why your products are special/useful/one of a kind. People like that.
  • Do some research and find local arts and crafts magazines that your products might be perfect for. Don’t wait for them to look for you, be active and find them yourself! Send them a short email saying who you are and what is that you do, a few product images and a short product description, mentioning your contact details and your Shoptsie online store address and keep your fingers crossed. They might accept it, they might not, but whatever you do, keep sending these and never give up hope.
  • Find a local cause that addresses the majority of people and team up with them. If there is a charity basketball match, bring your products and say that all sales will be donated to the organisation/foundation hosting the event. Such organisations are open to these ideas and so this isn’t only helpful but it will get you known as well. If people buy your products once and they are happy, they are likely to do it again.
  • Have the local newspaper write about an event that you organize or that you are a part of. Make sure it helps the community and the newspaper might not charge you for the article, which is good news, especially for a business that just started out.
  • Most importantly, if these ideas don’t work out after your first try, do yourself a favor and keep trying! Remember, timing is everything, so if it didn’t work today, it might work perfectly tomorrow. Never take a no personally and keep “pushing”.