Today, I’ve got Chloe Thomas on the show to talk about the Ecommerce trends you need to know in 2022. Yes, it is possible to sell goods online and be successful, but you need to keep these expert tips in mind that Chloe and I discuss.
Chloe and I talk about:
- Strategies for competing with the big brands and how you can have a real advantage
- How to focus on your brand story
- Highlighting what problem you solve for your audience
- Making your brand look professional
- The importance of giving your customer a good experience
- Where to sell your products (website vs. marketplace)
- How to manage all the jobs that goes into being a successful online seller
After talking to Chloe I realized there is a big opportunity today to sell things successfully online.
So even if you don’t sell any physical goods yet, you want to listen to this episode so you know what the landscape looks like at the moment and how you can jump in in the future.
Table of Contents
- MiloTree Pop-Up App
- EMAIL CHALLENGE: Set Up a Paid Workshop in 5 Days!
- MiloTree Easy Payments
- Ecommerce Master Plan
- Ecommerce Master Plan Podcast
- Faire Marketplace
- Not On The High Street
- Become a Blogger Genius Facebook Group
- All Blogger Genius Podcast Episodes
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Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends welcome back to the show. I love where I get to sit, I get to interview successful creators and bloggers and online entrepreneurs to see what’s really working.
One thing I see over and over again is that all of these creators have figured out things to sell. And that is exactly why David and I created MiloTree Easy Payments.
The Easiest Way to Set Up a Paid Workshop, Membership, Coaching, and Paid Services Is with MiloTree Easy Payments
If you want to sell what you know, through a membership through a paid workshop, through coaching, through services, MiloTree Easy Payments is your answer. There’s no complicated tech.
There’s no monthly fee, you get free hosted sales pages that are so easy to put together. Do not create a course, please do this instead, you will thank me for this. And if this sounds interesting to you, I want to offer my services to get you started.
And this is completely free. But I’m only offering it for a limited time. So, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get on a call and I will help coach you through this.
I’m doing it with a bunch of other entrepreneurs, and they’re having tremendous success and loving the process. Seriously, this could be a game changer for you. And it’s fun. So email me at email@example.com. And we will get on a call.
For today’s episode, I have Chloe Thomas on the show. And she is an Ecommerce expert. What’s great about this episode is we talk about trends. And because we all need to be up on trends, you get to see what is working and not working in eCommerce today.
And is it really possible to open a Shopify store and have success or should you be selling on Etsy? What should your strategy be? Because you know, I am all about creators selling products.
So without further delay, here is my interview with Chloe Thomas. Chloe, welcome to the show.
Ecommerce Trends You Need to Know in 2022
Chloe Thomas 2:17
Oh, Jillian, thank you. It’s so lovely to be here chatting with you.
Jillian Leslie 2:20
We are going to talk all about Ecommerce. And as I was just about to say, okay, let’s start. You said you didn’t have an Ecommerce store but you help people with their Ecommerce strategy.
Chloe Thomas 2:34
Yes, I find myself was kind of an Ecommerce marketing problem solver. Because I’ve been in the industry for about 20 years. I did used to work client side. So, I started my career for a retailer.
Then I ran a marketing agency for 10 years helping lots of retailers. And now I’ve got to the very privileged position of being able to think, write and speak for a living, I suppose.
So, I try and help my audience, my readers by giving them the frameworks and the insight and the inspiration they need to make better decisions in their business and thus find their path to success a bit faster.
What Does Ecommerce Look Like in 2022?
Jillian Leslie 3:12
If we were to take the temperature of Ecommerce today, and especially small Ecommerce shops can you lay the groundwork or explain the landscape?
Chloe Thomas 3:24
Sure. Right now, I’d say they’re all pretty tired, because 2020 was a really crazy year; we had a lot of people coming online and selling for the first time.
So a lot of crafters, a lot of physical stores, a lot of wholesale companies, they all entered this kind of online retail market space. So, we had huge changes with all of that.
And we had a huge amount of consumers jumping on to buy online for the first time because they were stuck at home and that was the only way they could get anything. So, we had this kind of amazing melting pot in 2020.
And we were all kind of ducking and diving and trying to work our way through it all. And we all thought 2021 would be what we had got used to but then that 2021 became properly crazy, because we had all the supply chain issues, which we hadn’t foreseen.
But in retrospect, were quite foreseeable. We had the staffing issues. We had all these kind of stuff going on. We had the competitors or the new competitors learning now how to do Ecommerce.
Many of them or some have given up on Ecommerce and go back to what they did before. And then we had consumers dropping back and starting to spend money offline again. So, it’s been another crazy year.
So I suspect right now they’re all pretty tired. Because I would be and I have spoken to quite a few of them. They are very, very tired. And then that’s kind of in the crazy the big backdrop that we’re all working on and working around.
And then we’ve got just a layer on top of that. We’ve got the big cookie changes. So, the fact that Facebook affecting iOS14 etc. changes that people are trying to get their heads around. So, our marketing plans are shifting away.
How the new Apple Update Hurt Facebook Advertising
Jillian Leslie 5:10
Can we stop for a second? And can you explain that, because I’ve been hearing the exact same thing. But for most people, I don’t think they’ll understand what that means.
Chloe Thomas 5:20
Sure. So, the power of Facebook ads, which for probably the last two or three years is the primary thing that a lot of Ecommerce businesses have built their business on, and they found the new customers there.
The power of the Facebook advertising platform has historically relied on the power of the Facebook algorithm.
And the algorithm is only as good as the huge volumes of data it manages to collect about the people who are using Facebook. And what the people using Facebook are doing when they’re not on Facebook as well.
Now, some of that will be collected on retailers websites, so anybody’s website, you install the Facebook pixel, because it makes your ads work better, and Facebook gathers all that data.
And then you allow the algorithm to make your ads work better for you and bring you more customers and more sales. What Apple have done is they have made changes to their operating system.
So, iOS being the Apple operating system, and numbers 14, numbers 15, and so forth, we’re going to see more of this happening.
They may change their operating system that changes how much control the individual human being has, over how much data they supply back to other people. And I think it’s like 95%, 96% of Apple users have taken the option.
As they install these updates of going, “I’m going to keep my data for myself, and I’m not going to give it to other people.” Now, that is problematic on various levels for marketers, personally, ethically, it’s a good thing.
Jillian Leslie 6:43
Chloe Thomas 6:43
But we should be in charge of our data.
Exactly. I don’t want Facebook knowing what I’m doing. But on the flip side, then Facebook doesn’t know what I’m doing. So for it to show me the ads that I might be more inclined to click on, it’s harder.
Exactly. And we say about Apple doing this. Google are doing it very soon as well. This And Microsoft I’m sure will do it. It’s part of that moves that happen with the California Data Protection new laws with the GDPR laws.
It’s part of the world catching up with where the internet is dragged us, I suppose. So, we’re getting our privacy controls back.
Jillian Leslie 7:34
But here’s the thing, let’s say I’m a crafter, or any sort of Ecommerce store. And I want that data so I can serve my product up to the right person at the right time. And so now you’re saying that’s more difficult.
Chloe Thomas 7:52
It’s more difficult because the algorithm is getting so much less data, it’s less powerful. So that means that when we run our ads, we need to set the algorithm up for success.
So you’re not going to be running ads these days, targeting an audience of people who live within 10 miles of your store, I’m going really tiny on it.
People who live within 10 miles of your store who are interested in cats, that’s not a good audience to put your ads in front of because there’s just not enough data, there’s not enough human beings in that space to enable the algorithm to do its thing.
So, a lot of what people are now finding is working is creating really powerful and compelling adverts, and putting those in front of the whole of the USA. So the algorithms got enough data to do its thing.
So, we’re shifting from kind of the power of being and knowing how to create the targeting yourself to the power of being and creating awesome ads. So great graphics, great copywriting, great offers.
So, it’s going to be a really big shift that we’re seeing a little bit of in the space because as competition levels grow, you’ve got to get better advert creative and better products. And what you’re actually offering is going to got to get better.
But it has been very much accelerated by these changes and what data the algorithms got. So that’s the bit which has made the biggest difference.
Jillian Leslie 9:09
So what I hear you saying, tell me if this is correct. It is no longer that I can figure out that you like cats and where you live and that you’re going to buy all of my cat products.
Two, I’ve got to create some really compelling ads that my creatives are so compelling that I am going to plaster them everywhere so that people who don’t like cats are going to be kind of entertained anyway. But if you like cats, it’s like catnip to you.
Chloe Thomas 9:43
It’s not quite plastering them everywhere. It’s we go with a massive targeting space. So the algorithm has enough data to be able to read into it and put our ads in front of the right people and then we create ads that are really going to appeal to the correct people.
So, it makes it really clear to Facebook you don’t want an ad that everyone is good, oh 50% off. 50% off what? Oh, no, I’m not interested. You want ads that go, “Cats. Oh, I love cats.” If that makes sense, that’s a terrible example.
But we need to create the ads that appear as an example of a campaign, which might help make a bit more sense.
One of the campaigns that’s working really well for people at the moment is audience being the whole of the US let Facebook work out who to show it to. And then you create a video about your brand about your products.
That’s kind of quite top of funnel, it’s quite high level to pull people in so they get you and they get your business. And then the people who watch that advert that video, they’re the people you then put the sales message in front of.
So you pay to watch them see the video, and use that as kind of a bit of a fishing net to gather the right people. And then the people who watch the video you put the sales message in front of.
Jillian Leslie 11:00
Got it. So, in a weird way your ad is the one that is determining who your audience is, rather than Facebook automatically doing it.
Chloe Thomas 11:11
Yes. It’s kind of like a double level, you got Facebook working out who are most likely to watch the video and then you have the second level of who has actually watched the video.
Ecommerce Advice: Start Selling in a Marketplace Like Etsy
Jillian Leslie 11:21
Okay. So now tell me this. Let’s say I am a crafter. Could I be successful? Like going to Shopify starting a store and boom, putting my products out? Like is that possible today?
Chloe Thomas 11:36
It is possible. If I was a solo crafter, so you could only create so much product and you only got so many hours in the day, I would probably first go to a marketplace.
Jillian Leslie 11:53
Chloe Thomas 11:54
Like Etsy and there’s a proliferation of marketplaces these days but Etsy is probably the obvious one to go to for a crafter. Because they are bringing the customers there. Now there’s still a huge amount of competition on that platform.
But there are people on there, searching and finding your products and checking out and it means you have a lot. A lot of things you don’t have to worry about which if you’re creating your own store you do.
If you create your own store, you’ve got to make sure your website gets found. You’ve got to create your email list and bring people in. I’m not saying you can’t do that and do well with it on Etsy.
You’ll probably see sales grow faster if you start on Etsy than if you start on your own website. But I would say have your own website, might be a Squarespace, a WordPress or Wix.
Somewhere where you can tell your story and you can add the additional information and you can let people get in contact with you for bespoke commissions and all that kind of good stuff as well.
So you so you do own your own identity, but you use the marketplace for the selling.
Jillian Leslie 12:51
So, if I were to start let’s say I’m a crafter and you say there are other marketplaces, should I go all in on Etsy? Like I have a website where I can tell my story, people can contact me.
Do I just do Etsy or do I start putting myself on other marketplaces and which would you recommend?
Chloe Thomas 13:15
Whether or not you go to the marketplaces depends on what you sell. So, it’s about finding the marketplaces that your customers are on. There are some amazing marketplaces starting up that appeal to certain niche demographics.
Those that help vegan people find vegan products. There’s an amazing new one called Faire, spelled F-A-I-R-E, which is like an online wholesale event.
So, rather than going to a big trade fair, creating your table, or your stand and spending three or four days trying to convince retailers to stock your product, you can list it on Faire. And the retailers come and they look at your product on that website.
And you can sell and build a relationship with them. Which I think for example, if you’re a potter who’s creating dinnerware or mugs, and you’d like to sell in more retailers’ Faire, F-A-I-R-E is a great way to build those wholesale relationships.
So it really does depend on who you want to sell to and where your business is and wants to go. But there are a lot of marketplaces out there now that you can sell on.
Here in the UK, you’d want to look at one called Not On The High Street, which is very big in gifting, especially personalized gifts.
Jillian Leslie 14:31
Okay, now, how do you see Amazon in this? Like I’m a little Potter. I make beautiful dinnerware. What do I think about Amazon? Is it not even in the choice space? Do I want to sell on Amazon? Can I compete with Amazon? What is your feeling about this?
Chloe Thomas 14:52
Well, I wouldn’t try to compete with Amazon because Amazon customers tend to be Amazon customers. So, I think putting your effort into focusing on competing with Amazon it’s going to be a slow and painful game to play.
So, focus on your identity and the channels which are going to help your identity kind of sing and attract the right people in. I believe Amazon does these days have a crafty area, kind of a maker’s area.
I have never heard or spoken to anyone who’s listed on it. So I cannot say whether it’s great or not. But I’m not convinced that people go to Amazon looking for a unique item. I think they’re looking for generic.
So, it wouldn’t be on my top three marketplaces to start on. I don’t think if I was a crafter, creating my own branded goods.
Being Your Own Solo Brand Gives You an Advantage Selling Online
Jillian Leslie 15:46
Do you think that let’s say I am a potter, and I’m me, do you think I have an advantage? Because I’m me. And I can be my own brand. And it’s harder for I don’t know, let’s think like the Gap, they’re the Gap, but they’re not like a person?
How do you see that in terms of branding?
Chloe Thomas 16:11
I think brand is all these days, historically we had stores, and we certainly still do on a High Street.
So, the kind of boutiques where they take lots of products being made by other people, and they bring them together, and they create a lovely collection that you get as you walk into the physical store.
That has become incredibly hard to do online, because it’s so easy to do the price competition to work out where everyone else is selling and to find those unique brands you can have in your physical retail store, in other places.
So to do that online is now quite hard. And the flip side of that is, the reason it’s quite hard is because it’s very hard to make something stand for something if the products aren’t unique.
So where we’re seeing all the most successful Ecommerce brands be at the moment is those who have their own products, their own brand, their own mission, their own values, their own kind of creative life force, I suppose in one form or another.
They know what they stand for, they know who they are. And it is an awfully lot easier to do that as a human being than it is to do that as a conglomerate.
So, I think there is definitely a lot that you can use to your advantage when you are someone with an identity, who is very clear on what that identity is breeding it through the products.
Telling people the story behind the products behind why you created the business and who you are and what you do. And they’re amazing platforms on which you can build that with blogging, with podcasting, with vlogging, and Instagram and so forth.
So, you kind of can become your own influencer. And that is a hugely powerful way to grow business at the moment.
Jillian Leslie 17:46
Yeah, I totally agree. I feel like, I see these brands, let’s say advertise on Instagram or something, and I go read the story of who’s behind this. And, oh, it’s a husband and wife, and they wanted better dog food for their dog.
And they didn’t want additives, and they wanted it organic. And you read the story, and you get kind of sucked in, and you’re okay, spending $40 on a bag of dog food.
Chloe Thomas 18:17
Exactly. And I said, that this shift that Facebook, the algorithm changes and the iOS14 changes have led to a kind of like a growing importance of the copy and the creative that we’re using.
I said that was like building on some trends we’re already seeing. And one of the key trends we’ve been seeing for the last few years in Ecommerce was actually two of them.
One is storytelling, and the emotional power of telling your story and connecting with your consumers that way.
And the other one is the power of emotion. That’s something which historically, we’ve seen growing and growing. Consumers they don’t just want to buy the product, they want to know the story behind the product, they want to feel a connection to it.
And as we’ve gone through the pandemic, and everything else that’s happened over the last two years. What we’ve also seen is that consumers they want that reassurance that they’re doing the right thing that they’re buying from the right people.
And there are these big trends and net zero of sustainability of wanting to support the little guy, where people want to know, who is this what is it?
And yeah, if this dog food purchase is going to go to someone who really cares about dogs, and who has dogs and I can see their dogs and I think their dogs look great. And I know I can feel who they are.
I’d rather it went to them than it went to massive Acme Dog Foods limited or whatever it is. Apologies if someone does have a Acme Dog Food.
Jillian Leslie 19:42
Totally. We’re sitting here and I am drinking my green tea. And my husband is a tea aficionado and we buy our tea from growers in Taiwan like little farmers, and I have to tell you, it makes me enjoy the tea even more.
I know what mountain this tea is grown on. Again, I do think when I drink it, I think about that. There’s a farmer farm this tea on this special mountain and I see pictures of the mountain. And I love this tea.
Chloe Thomas 20:24
Weirdly I am exactly the same about tea. We have an amazing shop in our local town that has Does Loose Leaf Tea and I now have so many tea pots it’s ridiculous.
Because I don’t like putting a caffeinated tea in the same pot as a non-caffeinated tea. Who would do that?
Jillian Leslie 20:38
Chloe Thomas 20:40
Literally I drink their tea from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep and I have different ones for different things. And literally I just have a house full of pots of different types of tea and I love their blends.
And I wouldn’t buy tea from pretty much anyone else now apart from the occasional convenience of a tea bag. But you get these and you feel good for doing it. I feel like I’m supporting a small local business.
I know that some of the stuff they do fits with the values I have and I’m like yeah, I feel good spending my money here. I don’t actually care how much it costs. I haven’t even done the price comparison with tea bags but they resonate with me.
I love the products and I love the fact I’m supporting them not just buying it from a supermarket.
Grow Your Social Media Followers and Email List Using the MiloTree Pop-Up App
I’m taking a short break because I don’t know if you saw the news, but Facebook’s reach is going down and this includes Instagram and there is a new kid on the block named TikTok.
So to help you grow your TikTok followers, David and I just released our MiloTree TikTok pop-up you’ll find this in your dashboard. And as part of your one account, you also get pop-ups for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, your email list.
It is so robust, and it will not slow your site down and we offer a WordPress plugin. So head to milotree.com sign up, get your first 30 days free. And believe me when I say TikTok is going to be important for your business. So it’s worth exploring.
And now back to the show.
Jillian Leslie 22:17
Okay, so let’s go back to the fact that I then want to start this Ecommerce brand. How do I build out my story? Where should I be? Should I be on Instagram? Should I try TikTok?
What are you seeing in terms of trends right now? I want to have the biggest impact, I want to spend the least amount of money having that impact and I want to generate sales.
Start Your Ecommerce Business with a Good Website
Chloe Thomas 22:42
Okay. First off, you’ve got to get that story straight and to get it straight, I would strongly suggest you try and create a good page on your website that explains it.
Because that really forces your mind into working out which bits are important which bits are less important. When we all start to tell a story, it can often end up a little bit oh, but then this happened and then I forgot about this.
You need to make sure it’s cohesive. So as you’ve got that kind of nailed. And so when you’ve attracted someone to the website, they’re seeing the story there as well.
They’re seeing the same key points, the same values, the key messages that they’ve seen outside your website to bring you in. So that’s the first thing get it straight, so you know what you’re talking about.
Jillian Leslie 23:25
When I’m talking about my story, are there things that I should be focused on, for example, we’re always told, focus on the value to the customer. It shouldn’t be all about me.
Chloe Thomas 23:40
It’s good to have because you want to create that that emotional connection with your customer. So, you want to create something which is called homophily, which is a lovely word, homophily.
Jillian Leslie 23:52
I like that.
Chloe Thomas 23:53
It’s the neuro scientific fact that we are connected, we feel more connection to someone who’s similar to us. So, if we were doing this on a stage right now, and people could see how short I am.
And they were English maybe and they’re in the audience and they’re wearing a pink jumper and they’ve got a brunette a brown fringe or bangs as you guys say in the US.
Ecommerce Tip: Find a Way to Connect to Your Audience with Your Brand Story and Testimonials
They would feel pretty connected to me right now because I’m sure I’ve got bangs, I’ve got brunette hair, and I’ve got a pink shirt on.
Now the same thing is, you mentioned the dogs earlier. If there’s a picture of you on that page with a dog, someone who’s got a dog is going to feel more connected to you, even if you’re not selling dog food.
So, we need to put a little bit about our story in there and as much as is relevant to the story of the brand and the product.
The other thing which we need to do is something which is a really powerful way of doing this is to talk about the problem that your product solves and how you solve that problem.
So the whole problem solution side of things which can be beautifully done. There’s an amazing site in the UK called Farm Toys Online. Where I think it’s Julie. I may have gotten her name wrong, apologies, but I’m going to call her Julie.
So, Julie created this this site, which sells all the tractors and horses and all the rest of it you could ever possibly imagine because her kids love farm toys.
She used to trek around the shops trying to find the right size tractor to go with the trailer, they bought them last year and the right horse that her daughter would like and all the rest of it. She got so frustrated, she decided to create the website.
Ecommerce Tip: Share the Problem You’re Solving
So that’s what she talks about her About Us page. And that’s exactly the same journey her customers are going through. It shows that the problem is Farm Toys a slightly niche. But when kids get into one particular set of Farm Toys, it has to be the right one.
And so she talks about how to solve that problem, she created the website. And that’s exactly the journey her customers are going on. So she outlines the problem. And there’s the solution.
And then she’s got some testimonials from customers saying how awesome her business is. So that’s the sort of thing you want to try and weave in there. You can use video, you can use images.
You should use text, because it’s web and we want Google to pick up on it and give you good SEO. So that’s the sort of thing you want to be doing on that page.
Jillian Leslie 26:13
Okay, so it is then about finding that connection, being that person with a solution. And making and building that trust.
Chloe Thomas 26:28
Yes, trust is a huge part of it. So as soon as you’ve got some great customer testimonials, or some being featured in some great press, those are the things you want to be adding in as well.
So yes, you’re showing both the trust of that person is like me. Trust that this person has similar values to me. This business stands for similar things that I stand for.
But also that once you’ve got it, you say, “Oh look, someone else has bought from them and been happy.” So, I reckon I can risk buying from them. And I will also turn out to be happy too.
Ecommerce Tip: Don’t Compete on Price
Jillian Leslie 26:56
Talk to me about pricing.
Chloe Thomas 27:01
Pricing is oh gosh, I always struggle with pricing myself because pricing is such an emotive thing to do. And it’s a tricky one. I think when you’re pricing products, the first thing you need to do is to work out what your costs are.
The worst thing in the world you can do is go, “Oh, we’ll charge 50 quid for this.” And then three months later, you discover it cost you 60 quid to make or dollars 50 quid, $60. Because the very basic is those products need to cover your costs.
And most retailers will be selling when they’re selling full price, they’re going to be at least doubling the cost of that good to cover all the overheads and all the other pieces that come into the pie.
Because if you’ve got a pound of tea, we keep going back to the tea. Got a pound of tea that you’re buying. It’s not just when you sell that that money you get back for it doesn’t have to just cover the cost of the tea and the pot that you’re selling it in.
It also has to cover the cost of it being sat in the warehouse of it being bought over from Taiwan, of it being branded. Of you doing the marketing for it, and your time to do it, your time to source it, to stock it, to parcel it to pack it the cost of delivering it.
Which is why even though for a retailer, it might cost them I don’t know $1 to buy a pound of tea, they’re going to sell it for at least $2 if not higher.
They’re going to double their money because they’ve got all those what we call overhead costs to flow into it as well. So that’s a good rule of thumb.
The other thing you want to do before setting your prices is look at what other people are selling similar things for. And then just to make sure you’re not undercutting the market.
Nobody really wins from undercutting the market, especially if you’re someone with a unique product. If everyone else is selling tea at $5, for a pound, you’re only going to make your tea look cheap and not as good as everyone else’s if you sell it at $2.
So up it to the to the $5 and price match them and see how that goes. And that’s great, because then you’ve got more margin to play with the promotions and events and so forth. So pricing is a fun one it is certainly something to test.
Jillian Leslie 29:16
Do you recommend testing and changing it and seeing it. If for example, I tell a really good story, like my tea farmer who tells a really good story, that I’m willing to pay more for the tea, because I know what mountain it comes from.
So is there value in really focusing on telling your story in a way that people become less price conscious?
Chloe Thomas 29:44
Oh, most definitely. Most definitely. The reason why massive companies invest huge amounts in brand is because it now enables them to charge more for the exact same thing someone else would buy.
Gucci, Calvin Klein, LVMH, all of these massive brands, Lululemon, they’re all able to charge what they can charge, because they built a brand that people feel connected to. So people are less price conscious when they go in there.
So yeah, everything I’ve been talking about around story and creative and building that emotional connection, it helps make your consumers less price conscious.
Jillian Leslie 30:22
How do I position my product as like higher end, so that I’m attracting those people who aren’t shopping for the sale price, the best price? Are there tricks for that?
Chloe Thomas 30:38
I would say certainly, you want to make sure you’ve got good quality photography, good quality copy, there’s not typos all over the place.
You want to be on a slick website, which is where you know being on Etsy is going to be better than being on a WordPress site. A site that looks professional, it looks like it’s holding its own.
Ecommerce Tip: Make Your Website Look Professional and Think About Packaging
So you’re building that trust, but also it looks like you have the money to invest in making it right. It doesn’t cost a lot to make a website look reliable.
So you do all of those things, then of course, you need to worry about what the experience is like when the person actually gets the goods.
Because starting off as a small business with your own products, what’s going to be crucially important is people coming back to buy something else.
And also people telling their friends, all the brilliant things they’ve learned about their business and how brilliant the product was.
So, you want to make sure, what we call the unboxing experience, the moment that product arrives with them is as strong as it possibly can be. So, as they shout about its people they know and people they don’t.
And so they’re like, “Yes, I made the right decision, everything I thought about this person, everything I thought about this product was right, this is brilliant, this is lovely. I want more of this, and I’m going to go back and buy more.”
So that means good quality packaging. These days, it tends to mean eco-packaging as well. So stuff which is compostable, or recyclable, you do not want it layered and layered and layered in plastic because consumers are starting to take offense at that.
And then it fits with your brand. So maybe there’s a free gift in there. There’s a brilliant tiny business in the UK called Neves Bees, N-E-V-E-S Bees, and they have some bees.
And they make products from the beeswax, lip balms and moisturizers and that sort of thing. And they’re a small business, they don’t want to grow. They’re very happy with the size they’ve got, they’ve only got 70 Bees.
They’re very much also about the passion of growing bee populations and organic products, all the rest of it. So with every single order, they send out a free packet of wildflowers. Which costs them next to nothing, because they buy it in massive sacks.
Brand up the packet of wildflowers. So, it’s their branding, and they put one in every single parcel, which is completely on message completely on brand. And it’s just a lovely thing.
You may not notice this, as you’re going through the website it’s on the website. So, you have been told you’re going to get it. Not everyone is going to remember that. I’ve got some wildflower seeds. That’s brilliant, and it appeals to the right type of customer.
If you’re someone who grows wildflower seeds, what am I going to do with that? You’re not their target customer. So, it’s okay.
But it really helps to do that binding and that emotional connection, which is so important to continue right away through the unboxing process for the smallest businesses.
Because you want that person buying again, and you want them telling all their friends and family.
Ecommerce Tip: A Repeat Customer is More Valuable than a New Customer
Jillian Leslie 33:30
That’s right, if you can get somebody back to your website, and buy again, they are much more valuable to you. So it’s that concept of surprise and delight, that there’s that little like, oh.
And in fact back to my Taiwanese tea farmer, when we buy something, he personally signs it. So, I feel like I’m in a relationship with him. He doesn’t know who I am, but I feel this real bond. And I will buy from him again.
Chloe Thomas 34:02
Exactly. It’s simple things. And when you’re a small business, and you’re making the most of the powers you have as a small business, which is you can do that personalized element, you can sign, you can put a little note in, you can put a little card in.
Maybe you can put a free gift in. That sort of thing is something which it’s very hard for the larger companies to scale, very, very hard for them to scale, but it’s something you can do and that will have a very powerful impact on binding your customers to you.
So, as they keep buying from you, they keep buying from you, they keep buying from you and so they tell everyone about it as well.
Jillian Leslie 34:40
What I’m hearing from you is the idea that a lot of it you need to make the product and deal with the logistics, but it is all about storytelling and emotion.
Chloe Thomas 34:54
Those are the power plays of the smaller business, the one person who’s making the product. He’s doing their marketing.
Yes, you need to start getting your email marketing working well, because a lot of people will come and sign up using email marketing to come in to do it, to go ahead and check out.
Yes, at some point you need to start learning some ads, you probably want to be one of the marketplaces, real quick is bang. But if you can’t leverage the uniqueness you have, then you’re not going to get the most margin the most bang for your buck.
You really need to make sure you’re getting those the USPs out there, the storytelling out there building that emotional connection with your customers, and then you’ll build a very successful business.
Jillian Leslie 35:37
Wow. And just one last question, which is, given let’s say I’m a potter, how much of my time should be spent making pottery? And how much of my time is spent marketing and promoting and connecting? How do you balance that?
Chloe Thomas 35:54
Wow, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? I would guess you’re probably talking 50% of your time with your hands on the clay and 50% of your time doing everything else.
Because you’ve got the picking and packing to do. You’ve got the invoicing, organizing of things, you’ve got the marketing to do.
Or you will find that you reach a sweet spot with your business, you may find that actually, for you, it works to outsource certain tasks. So you may want to get experts on board for things like, the drudge work, I suppose.
Like bookkeeping, or the picking and packing of the product, maybe you’ve got kids, you can give some pocket money to do that. There are ways of doing that. Don’t have to cost you a lot of money.
But what I do strongly advise you to do wherever that timespan comes down to is to segment your diaries, there’s certain times of doing certain activities.
Ecommerce Tip: Batch Your Tasks to Be More Efficient
Because one of the things you will very quickly learn is that the list of things you could do, both in product production and in marketing, and everything else is endless. It never ever ends.
So if you say every Monday afternoon, I’m going to spend working on my marketing. And every Tuesday, I’m going to write at least one blog post and every Wednesday afternoon, I’m going to schedule all my social media content.
Then you know that you’re making progress every single week, you’re making progress. And it doesn’t matter if you do on the Wednesday afternoon, if you do five posts or you do 20, you did your allotted social media work for the week. And that’s all sorted out.
And then that just enables you to keep things moving every single week because it’s the cumulative impact of those steady progress on all our various projects that get us to the end to the success and helps you know that you’re on track.
Even if the to-do-list never gets any shorter.
Jillian Leslie 37:52
I know. In fact it usually gets longer.
Chloe Thomas 37:55
It does. Sorry, everybody.
Jillian Leslie 37:58
So Chloe, this is super enlightening. And you’ve inspired me to think that it is possible to be that small solopreneur who does make something beautiful and wants to sell it and put it out into the world.
Chloe Thomas 38:16
It’s totally possible, it takes some hard work. One of the good things which those who are doing the crafting have as an advantage over those who are buying product in.
All that time you spend making the product you can tune into great podcasts like this one, to learn how to do it. So you get to learn at the same time as you’re actually doing something productive.
Which is something which as a podcaster, author, etc. myself, I have to find time to listen to podcasts because I’m never making pottery.
So that is one of the great things you’ve got is when you’re in your workshop creating your product make sure your playlist is set up to help you learn and help you improve the business so you know what you’re doing.
When you get into those times that you’ve ring fence to do your marketing.
Jillian Leslie 39:06
I love that. So Chloe, if people want to learn more about you reach out to you what is the best way?
Chloe Thomas 39:13
You can find everything I’m up to Ecommercemasterplan.com There you’ll find all the books I’ve written about how to grow an eCommerce business.
You will also find details of my podcasts which are called Ecommerce MasterPlan and Keep Optimising and all of that at ecommercemasterplan.com.
Jillian Leslie 39:31
Awesome. Chloe, I have to say thank you so much for coming on the show.
Chloe Thomas 39:36
It’s been a pleasure chatting with you and I hope we’ve helped some of your audience or inspired them to get started and if we have I’d love to hear how they get on.
Jillian Leslie 39:43
I hope you guys like this episode. For me the most interesting piece is that you as an individual can put yourself out there and compete with much larger brands.
Because as I like to say you’ve got your own special sauce and if you can communicate that you can build a business. And this is why I want to inspire you to think bigger that you too can sell products to your audience.
I want to help you do that by starting with say a paid workshop or a membership, coaching or services. So what you know, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll be amazed at what you can build and I will see you here again next week.
Other Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:
- Sell Products? Steal This Strategy with Susan Bradley
- How to Make Easy Affiliate Money Now with Jeannine Crooks
- How To Grow a Successful Business as a One-Woman Show with Lisa Steele
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