You may or may not know that I recently launched my online shop GlowIntoStyle which sells lifestyle and homeware items. Behind the scenes it took a long time to get to this point and as you can imagine a lot of thought has gone into it. From a young age I’ve always had an interest in business and making money and my mum is also very business-minded too so it hasn’t really surprised me that we both decided together to launch a shop. I’ve had a lot of questions over the past few months regarding the whole process and what it’s like running an online business. I thought I’d answer all the questions in one place in case any of you are wanting to start your own online shop or are just interested in the process.
What did you use to make your online shop?
We used the platform Ecwid to make it but it took a while to find a suitable site that wasn’t too expensive and had everything we wanted. You can connect Ecwid stores to your blog if you want it linked and you can easily list all your items. They have a live chat option available so if there’s something you’re finding difficult there’s always someone to ask… I think I probably did their head in towards the end! I messaged them so much. Ecwid allows you to add discount codes and it has an app so you get notifications on your phone when someone makes an order.
Do you have to put when an item is out of stock or is it done automatically?
It’s done automatically on Ecwid. When we upload stock, we enter the total amount we have of that item so when that’s all gone Ecwid does it automatically for us.
Who made your logos?
The shop logos were made by ChloeSweeneyDesign and it took me a while to decide on a colour scheme – I’m such a perfectionist when it comes to things like that. She did such a good job and I’d definitely recommend!
Where did you get your products from?
We have a local wholesalers where we choose products from and we also make some of the items ourselves. If you’re looking to start perhaps a fashion brand, I’d recommend checking out Sewport who help you source and meet clothing manufacturers and helps you turn ideas into products. There are lots of wholesalers around these days both in fashion and lifestyle so it’s best to have a look online and see what one is best for you if that is the road you want to go down.
How do you send the items off?
The orders go out from our house we do it all ourselves. We try to send the orders the same day, if not the next two days. Try and personalise your customers orders so it makes them feel like it’s special. We have wrapping paper and I always include a written note to say thank you for ordering.
What was the hardest part setting it up?
Thinking of a name for the shop probably! It took us forever and I’m not even joking. Mum and I used to text each other twenty times a day brainstorming ideas until one day it just clicked. I think this is what you have to do though – I recommend writing down key words or the key message you want to get across from your shop name and it’ll help.
When buying the stock if you don’t plan on making the items yourself, don’t buy too much because you don’t know what will sell and what won’t. It’s better to experiment first before buying a lot and then when you know what sells the most, you can get more. Having the time to promote your shop really helps especially with the way social media is these days. I notice a drop in sales if we don’t promote or be active on social media so promotion is key.
I hope this post was helpful to those of you wondering about running your own online shop. We’ll be getting lots of new stock in soon for autumn and Christmas so stay tuned for that!
If you missed my last post about how to get the perfect fake tan click here