Friday, May 8, 2015

Embarking on Selling with the Big Guys!

This post is more for fellow PODer's than for crafters. But I'm sharing my travel on the road of trying to sell. Trying to be more in control of my own destiny and not at the whim of POD sites who determine my commission and sometimes even determine what I can or cannot sell.

To begin with I tried Wix. I love Wix. I love all the toys and tools. To me it was like walking through the office supply store with all the different color pens and markers. Slideshows, blogger can be included on the site. I even went so far as to pay for a premium edition where I could sell my products.

Setting up products was so easy. And I absolutely loved the look! The one limitation was the variants on products. You were only allowed 10 (ten) choices per variant. This is fine for sizes but for colors available on t-shirts -- it's very limited.

My way around that was to provide a choice of "contact" me to tell me what color you wanted. I listed 9 (nine) of what I thought would be the most popular and then leave the choice of (contact me for color). They could then complete a contact form and tell me what color they wanted. Not very customer friendly.

The other reason why I could not stay with Wix was their lack of SEO. They had SEO for each page but that was it. I do not even think your pics would show up on a Google image search. No SEO for each product. So very disappointing.

So Wix had a deal with Shopify attached. Shopify would take over one page of your Wix site. As far as I could tell at this point ALL products would appear on this one page. EEK!! Talk about scrolling. So I canceled the plan.

As I continued on my Wix only, adding products without any SEO info, I again became frustrated.

So off to Shopify - only - I go. I set up a free trial. I still do not love it :(. But they are so intertwined with many other social sites, you cannot avoid them. But dilemma, dilemma, I can't use Nature's Sol because that's already associated with many other things.

So Shopify gives me a domain name for $9.99 a year. Fine, I wanted to tie up CAV Designs anyway. So that is my domain name here. Added my Wanelo app - and BINGO - I have a shop on Wanelo! Happy, happy, happy. I could not have done this with the Wix/Shopify combo.

Shopify is confusing! Pretty easy to add products but so hair pulling on trying to organize them. Their layouts are beyond simplistic. But thinking about it - this is probably to make them mobile friendly. I mean how many people want to watch a slideshow on their phone when they want to buy or look up a price?

So I'm trying to be in a happy place with a simple layout. Shopify is definitely mobile friendly. They are tied in with everyone. It's like I'm sitting at the cheerleaders table in the High School lunchroom LOL.

I'm having to redo everything to CAV Designs which is a bummer. But perhaps I'll get some new folks along the way. I am still trying to figure this all out. So if you look at my site - there's almost nothing there - at least nothing interesting LOL.

But be sure to follow me on Wanelo and I'll follow you back. I had followers on Nature's Sol - and now I must find you all again. So please give me a follow. Maybe I'll have more power on posting your products since I'm a store now!

My store site is CAV Designs. Please do not judge my site too hard. I'm no where near understanding all this. But do let me know if you notice something missing that I need to figure out how to bring in.

My goal is to not be dependent on Etsy, on no one, for commission. Of course, I will still be "out there" on the traditional sites. But I hope to bring anyone who visits me there over to my real store.

Hope that my trials and tribulations may help you on your path.

This blog from Shopify is fantastic. Check it out

Stay tuned as I stumble down this path. Hope to help you out with the info too.