In the previous article, we learned about what is the zero-inventory model and how to promote it. It may only give you a general understanding, but you still can’t figure out how to put it into your business. After all, practice makes perfect. So, in this issue, we will focus on Mark’s successful website shop of pet suppliers and learn about his experience and methods.
In the following article, we’ll tell how Mark managed to make his website so successful from a first-person perspective.
How to choose a niche market for your website shop?
I often hear people say “this is a good niche”, which always confuses me because there is no such thing as a good niche or a bad niche.
My rule of thumb when choosing a niche is that interest is the first thing that counts. But most people will ignore their preferences and think it won’t help them start a business. But I have found that passion is the biggest motivator to move forward in any business before success. So if you choose a niche that you know nothing about, you may not get the input you deserve.
Plus, when you start with something you already like a lot, you already know all the parts of the industry. This gives you an advantage over starting a business from scratch.
After considering all of this, I surveyed my interests and realized that pets are my favorite. Since I have had a dog, I have been learning more about the industry and I am familiar with the trends in products for dog lovers. So, after some research, I chose dog-centric products as the theme for my website shop.
I have done a lot of research on this industry. Including checking Amazon and other popular sites to see how popular the niche is. And how much revenue the niche has generated over the last few years.
To research a niche, I usually perform the following. Google the main keywords to see the main companies which sell similar products. And then I will check the traffic they generate. For bigger information, I will check the amount of revenue generated by the niche online and also the profitability of the niche.
How to target your audience?
This step was inextricably linked to the first step. A simple Google search took me to a competitor’s store. There I can view the reviews left by their customers and find out who is most attracted to the niche. Researching the competition allows me to avoid the mistakes they make and make my store perfect.
As a pet owner myself, I know exactly which brands have the best sales plans and products for pet owners. I know what my customers’ headaches are and what they need the most. Combined with Google trends and common sense, I have come up with the lifestyles, personality traits, and attitudes of people who are likely to buy my products.
How to choose a product with potential?
First of all, we should try to avoid products that are highly seen on AliExpress or Amazon. Choosing repetitive products is the worst thing. And also, sellers should avoid low-quality products. Selling such products is harmful to your customers and yourself.
In addition, I found products that could be customized. By looking at my competitors’ customer messages, I found that most customers prefer to have personalized products. So, I offer customization or POD services. I chose a supplier that I could trust and then add products that the supplier could offer to my store. For the number of products in the website shop, 20-50 would be sufficient.
How to build your website shop?
Shopify is a must-have for website builders who are starting, it’s easy to use. New sellers often spend a lot of time designing and perfecting the look of their website shops. But the truth is, as an e-commerce business, your store needs to look professional and trustworthy. It doesn’t have to be so high-end that it creates an unnecessary sense of distance. This will make customers feel like the products in this store are must expensive.
Your website needs to load in less than 3 seconds, and that’s very important!
Therefore, I spent some time building my shop with all the elements. The most influential thing on the website is the homepage, so let’s introduce the key points to build the homepage.
This is how I created my homepage.
I started by inserting a high-resolution image to the homepage of a free image site (like Unsplash). This image is the first thing people will see when they land on the site, so it had to be relevant and attractive to my niche.
I then added a small tagline and a CTA button to that image that would take visitors directly to the product.
Build your logo
The logo design needs more reference to the seller’s niche. Customers will know what you sell and what this website is about by a glance at the logo. The logo had better also convey some of your feelings, such as warmth, touching, and sunshine. This is a very fun process.
For the font, I gave up on the cumbersome fancy font and chose something easy to read. This fits the clean white rustic feeling I wanted.
I see many e-commerce stores that simply copy-pasted product descriptions from a vendor’s store (usually AliExpress). This meant that product pages were often cluttered with irrelevant information. You need to know that online shopping required clear and concise product descriptions.
For product descriptions, you must be able to demonstrate that your product is worth buying and will make a significant difference in your customer’s life. And don’t forget to show them why your product is better than the competition.
How to develop your marketing?
My marketing plan consisted of three main elements: Facebook, Instagram, and email marketing. Once my store was ready, I had to raise brand awareness first because no one knew about my store in the beginning.
The three things I learned from Facebook and Instagram ads are:
Define your audience multiple times. Sellers will usually change the content and format of the ad once the ad seems to be failing. But the problem can also be in defining the target audience. I tested gender and interests separately among all audience variables, which allowed me to be sure which was my primary customer group.
Choosing a product is a top priority. Some products only perform well on Instagram, but others will attract crazy amounts of traffic on Facebook. Analyze the strengths of both platforms and run your product ads in a targeted manner. If a product only brings little sales even after a month, and you’re spending and revenue on this product are not balanced, just give up on it. Try other new products to find out your new land.
Don’t focus only on planning ads. If an ad doesn’t work, then it’s a waste of time to recreate the ad. I create 4-5 ad sets for each product with different audiences and run them. So, I can get data quickly and adjust my plan daily based on the results.
Instagram has a younger user base, while Facebook caters to middle-aged people. With email marketing, I send out 2-3 emails a week to my email list. The content includes interesting newsletters and a selection of cute dog videos.
You can also provide value by posting on Pinterest Quora, which can greatly increase brand awareness. Another thing you can’t forget is that you need to budget for your advertising.
Any success is the sum of all the small efforts you put in. From design and development to marketing and sales. If people’s “zero inventory success stories” claim that a revolutionary trick will make you successful in a second, they’re lying. These success stories are usually used to deceive people.
You may be starting on your journey and making countless mistakes along the way, but you too can become successful if you admit it and correct it.