ecomerce advice

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by seudama38, Dec 7, 2020.

  1. seudama38

    seudama38 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    Hi, my name is Costa and at the moment I am thinking to open an e-commerce business . Being new here I just wondering if it's someone kindly available to guide me properly into all this. Thank you very much for your help.
    Posted: Dec 7, 2020 By: seudama38 Member since: Dec 7, 2020
  2. finleydesign

    finleydesign UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    653 141
    Don't wish to sound rude, but if you are looking to start an e-commerce store, based on the millions of people that try and fail, if you need someone to guide you properly into all of this, how do think the site will succeed?

    Why wouldn't the person guide you, just simply do it themselves?
    Posted: Dec 7, 2020 By: finleydesign Member since: Mar 15, 2012
  3. wayzgoose

    wayzgoose UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    917 144
    Think that's a rather large request !
    Posted: Dec 7, 2020 By: wayzgoose Member since: Oct 9, 2007
  4. nish

    nish UKBF Regular Free Member

    130 12
    You will have to do your own research, lots of help available on internet. May be Youtube on how to do product research, and lots of help there :)
    Posted: Dec 7, 2020 By: nish Member since: Jul 15, 2007
  5. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,121 998
    With a few exceptions, online stores are not easy.

    But there are so many options you could take - your own store, an Ebay/Amazon store. You could sell clothes, or you could sell coffee.

    So here is my first tip.

    Sit down with a sheet of paper and work out exactly what you want to do. What do you know something about?

    Until you are at that point, there is not much advice to give, really.
    Posted: Dec 7, 2020 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
  6. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    6,726 1,855
    Are you looking to pay a consultant?
    Posted: Dec 7, 2020 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
  7. John Toomey

    John Toomey JDJT1966 Full Member

    51 8
    To help you get going, look on the internet for a Lean canvas template, fill it in about your new idea and then go from there. They are a great way to distill your thoughts down into a single page.
    Posted: Dec 7, 2020 By: John Toomey Member since: Sep 7, 2020
  8. CraigJohnsonUK

    CraigJohnsonUK UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 0
    I'd agree with the other contributors. It's going to be tough.

    Aside from worrying about the technical elements, the design and the aesthetics of your website there are other factors that are often ignored:

    - How will your pricing be competitive in comparison to the competition?
    - How will you quickly build trust, reviews and recommendations quickly so that customers are prepared to part with their cash?
    - How refined is your 'picking, packing and returns' process? Missing a postal slot will more often than not result in poor reviews from customers who expect an Amazon-esque experience from every retailer.
    Posted: Dec 7, 2020 By: CraigJohnsonUK Member since: Dec 10, 2019
  9. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    27,415 3,367
    Find something you like. Sell that stuff.
    Posted: Dec 7, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  10. Noob Business Girl

    Noob Business Girl UKBF Contributor Free Member

    82 1
    Google what you're stuck on. Then read some books and watch some YouTube. Ask specific questions here for guidance. That's how I started.
    Posted: Dec 7, 2020 By: Noob Business Girl Member since: Jun 15, 2020
  11. Noob eCommerce Guy

    Noob eCommerce Guy UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    Hi Costa

    I've just been through this exact process - setting up a new eCommerce business. I've written a series of blog posts that share my experiences - it focuses on all the tech stuff like choosing a web host, optimising your site, SEO, marketing, etc. and is written for people who know nothing about it (like I didn't!).

    It's totally "non expert" advice, but maybe it will be useful.

    Unfortunately I'm not allowed to post a link as I'm new here, but if you are interested, just send me a private message, and I'll send the link to you.

    Good luck!
    Posted: Dec 10, 2020 By: Noob eCommerce Guy Member since: Dec 10, 2020
  12. Sucregirl

    Sucregirl UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    Thank you for proffering something from your experience. I am sure experiences are great teachers.
    Posted: Dec 11, 2020 By: Sucregirl Member since: Dec 11, 2020
  13. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    27,415 3,367
    Or you could post something for those just reading the forums to see.

    Just some content rather than link.
    Posted: Dec 11, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  14. Ally Maxwell

    Ally Maxwell UKBF Regular Free Member

    453 173
    Easy peasy, buy stuff for £0.10 and sell it for £100.00 by installing Wordpress and Woocommerce on some free web space. Ten mins on SEO and you're no 1 on Google. Start looking at yachts. Sorted.
    Posted: Dec 12, 2020 By: Ally Maxwell Member since: Nov 6, 2015
  15. Blacklaw

    Blacklaw UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    18 2
    There are several FREE solutions that you can use to get started.
    FreeWebStore is one I have seen quite a lot, although I don't think it is very pretty.

    I am a fan of ECWID, very easy to setup and use and looks pretty nice. Free for up to 10 products.

    WordPRess + woocommerce as mentioned above is a popular option and has a lot of features and bells and whistles.
    While WordPress is free and the basic version of Woocommerce is free, you will need to pay for hosting and you have the task up maintaining and updating WordPress, your plugins and theme.
    If you want to go down the WordPress route, unless you have the technical skills to manage the site, then I would suggest using a service like
    Posted: Dec 14, 2020 By: Blacklaw Member since: Jul 31, 2018
  16. Noob eCommerce Guy

    Noob eCommerce Guy UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    In response to Mr D. Good idea! I'm limited to 10,000 characters in a post, so I'll post an excerpt.

    The series of posts is about me trying to learn everything about setting up an eCommerce site, from scratch. As such it's aimed at people doing the same, who maybe don't know anything about it. It's not an expert guide. The full series can be found on Medium, just drop me a mail if you'd like a link.

    Excerpt from Part 4: Getting Started with Analytics.

    What are Analytics?
    Analytics is just a jargon term for data and statistics. The analytics I had to deal with most often were those collected about my website and those provided as part of an online advertising system (Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc.). [Section omitted for reasons of space]

    It’s easy to get overwhelmed or sucked into all this data, especially when you first start out and you really want to know how everything is going and it’s all new and exciting.


    In this post I’ll share my experience of using various analytics systems, what they offer, how useful I found them, plus any issues I encountered and whether they might be worth your time.

    But before that, there’s some things you should know.

    The Dirty Secrets of Analytics
    Analytics, to a novice, can appear to be cast iron facts. If the computer says 1,236 people visited my website this month, then that’s how many people must have visited, because the computer would know, wouldn’t it? It’s the kind of thing computers are good at.

    Except it’s not true. The computer doesn’t know. It’s making a guess. It’s a good guess, based on some hard data, but it’s a guess none the less.

    And that’s just one issue with analytics that a novice may miss. So before you go diving into the big sea of numbers, let’s just take a step back and look at what those numbers actually mean.

    Analytics are not The Truth
    So, you’ve got your analytics page open and it’s showing you some key stats. Number of Sessions: 1,236; Number of Page Views: 4,332; Average Session Duration: 1m 24secs, Bounce Rate: 37.2%, etc.

    Cool, huh? So precise. I mean, 4,332 and 37.2% — those are very exact numbers. This data must be super accurate!

    If only! You see one of the first things to understand about analytics is that a lot of the numbers are estimates. This can be for a number of reasons. [...]

    On top of the technical issues, some data just isn’t complete; for example, some analytics can be based on a sample of data (e.g. not all users, just some of them). This is not a controversial thing to do but the precision of the numbers presented to you gives the impression that these are The Truth. I mean, the number of page views isn’t “approx. 4,000” it’s “4,332”.

    So, let’s take a look at one example, just to illustrate the point.

    Google Analytics, as an example, will try to calculate the time users spent on each of your web pages. This is presented to you on a per-page basis, and also in an overall average session time (i.e. the average amount of time users spent on your website). Sounds fairly straightforward, right?

    Except: Google can’t tell how long users spent on the last page that they visited. This is because it calculates the time they spent on a page by looking at when they clicked to go to the next page. Of course, when they are on the last page they are going to look at, there isn’t a next page, so Google doesn’t know how long users spent on it.


    So, those time-on-page and average session time metrics are estimates. And they are probably lower than the true figure. (There are other things that can mess up the time-on-page number as well, that I won’t bore you with).

    Does any of this matter, though?

    Not if you are aware of the limitations and act accordingly.

    For example, don’t take some drastic action based on one number. Cross reference it with other data. When you do this, you’ll often find that figures seem to contradict each other, or simply don’t add up (sometimes literally). This will (a) drive you crazy, and (b) reinforce the idea that this data is not The Truth. It’s a series of best guesses, with missing data and estimations all over the place.

    So, the overall message is: be aware that these numbers are both estimates, and incomplete. Don’t get fooled by their apparent accuracy.

    None of the analytics systems agree with each other
    There are many different analytics systems you could have running on your website. Personally I’ve tried the built-in host analytics; Google Analytics; and Facebook Pixel in terms of on-site analytics.

    At first, this was just to try the various systems out and see if I really needed GA as well as the web host’s analytics. I mean, a lot of the main stats I had already via the web host, so they’ll be a bunch of data that’s just duplicated in GA — no point in seeing the same numbers in two different places.

    Well, let me tell you, those numbers that you’d imagine being the same — number of site visits, page views, etc? — Different.

    My web host thinks one number of people visited my site, and Google thinks a different number. Sometimes pretty significantly different. Add in Facebook’s Pixel analytics — different again.

    Ok. I’m sure there’s some technical reason why they are different. Let’s look at some other stuff. Where is the traffic coming from? My web host shows me the country where visitors are accessing the site from — so does Google. There’s no estimation required here, someone is either in a particular country or they’re not, right? So that data must match.


    And so on. None of the analytics systems agree with each other. There are a number of reasons, some technical and some methodological [...]

    So not only are the numbers estimates — the estimates are different on different analytics systems depending on the data they have & how they process it.

    Analytics are best guesses. And different systems guess differently.

    Analytics can’t tell you Why
    Ok, so the numbers are estimates. It’s still better to have them than to not have them and they can still tell you really useful things. Who cares if our visitor numbers are maybe 10% different to reality — we still have a decent idea of how many it is and if that number is trending up or down.

    And look — we can see that our Bounce Rate (the number of people visiting just 1 page) has increased significantly this month. That’s useful the know! Why is that?

    Well, the analytics have literally no idea. You see, analytics tell you what is happening (or at least their best guess), but they have no idea why.

    This can be infuriating. The system is telling you “something is wrong (probably)”. You say “what’s wrong?”, and it just replies “don’t ask me, friend, that’s your problem”.

    So you have to guess.

    [Section omitted from excerpt for reasons of space]

    Definitions can be bafflingly vague
    Ok, so we don’t know exactly what the numbers are, but we know roughly, and we know what’s being measured. I mean, it’s pretty obvious what “site visitors” means, right?

    Hold on, what exact does that mean? What constitutes a “visit”? What about a “session”?

    Or, moving over to Facebook, what about an “engagement” with an Ad or post? This is always a different, higher number than “link clicks”, so it’s not the same as that. How has someone “engaged” with my Ad without actually clicking on the link?

    It’s all a lot of jargon, and expect to go on a hunt through documentation and blog posts to try to find out what all these things actually mean. I still don’t really know what an “engagement” is, and Facebook’s documentation on it is incredibly vague.

    Ok, so “engagement” is a squirrelly term, but even when the terms seem like they must be clear and simple, they often aren’t.

    Let’s take YouTube “views”. You’d imagine this would be pretty straightforward — someone either watched the video or they didn’t. There’s an obvious complication that they may have only watched some of it — but that surely counts as a “view” too?

    Well, yes and no. A viewer has to intentionally play the video and they have to watch for 30 seconds or more. “Intentionally plays” I think means that if an embedded video auto-plays, then it doesn’t get counted as a view.

    Ok, so that seems kind of reasonable — not that complicated really. You have to look it up to know what it means, but hey, it’s fine.

    Until you notice something. Sometimes your video views go down.

    That’s right, one minute your new video has 125 views, then next day it has 121. Wait — what? How can someone have unwatched my video? I mean, there’s videos I wish I could unwatch, but I didn’t know it was an actual possibility.

    Well it seems that YouTube analyses views from time to time (with some secret algorithm) to find out if they are “real” views or not, since people will always be trying to game the system with bots or other methods. And apparently it sometimes decides that some of your views are not “real”. For some reason. That’s secret.

    Oh, did I forget to mention that video views are calculated differently on Facebook? And differently again on Instagram (also owned by Facebook)? And differently again on Twitter? And in fact, differently on absolutely everything?

    Posted: Dec 14, 2020 By: Noob eCommerce Guy Member since: Dec 10, 2020
  17. iDigLocal

    iDigLocal UKBF Regular Full Member

    150 32
    I think the suggestion of selling something your like is a good place to start, or at least something you have an interest in. But this is not completely necessary.

    Ideally you need to find a niche to cut through the competition. Selling TVs or clothing is going to be a very big mountain to climb but selling something that not a lot of people are selling will make it easier.


    1. Contact manufacturers/distributors to get some idea of costs prices and look at how you can buy the stuff you want to sell.

    2. Work out how you are going to get it to your clients and cost up shipping costs

    3. Work out your overall costs for products and determine your selling price - see if this is workable given your competition's pricing

    4. pick a brand name - secure domains and social media accounts. check that they are all available

    5. Branding - logo etc...

    7. write T & Cs

    8. Pick an ecommerce cms and build it/get it built

    9. upload all your content

    10. Launch - with as much fanfare as you can buy

    11. keep working on marketing and tweaking prices and products - for ever!!!
    Posted: Dec 16, 2020 By: iDigLocal Member since: May 9, 2018
  18. japhyryder

    japhyryder UKBF Contributor Free Member

    32 3
    I wish there was more time for mentors in this business. Good luck to you
    Posted: Dec 18, 2020 By: japhyryder Member since: Dec 18, 2020