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Moving more business to website

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by Sticker Matt, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Sticker Matt

    Sticker Matt UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 0
    Hi all,

    First post here and just looking for a bit of general advice really. I design, print/cut vinyl stickers for the home and also do some motorhome graphics. We started on ebay in 2013 then moved on to amazon and etsy in early 2015 which practically doubled sales overnight. Since then we have been really comfy doing new designs very irregularly and sales have always been quite consistent.

    In 2016 we opened a website through shopify with the optimism of eventuality being self sustained there avoiding high fees on other platforms. To start with we tried a few campaigns on adwords and Facebook with limited success and to this day we average about 5 views a day on our website and about £500 in sales in 2018 which is quite disappointing.

    The main issue is that over the last 3 months our Amazon sales have plummeted and our eBay sales have also slowed but not to the extent of Amazon. Not sure if its down to consumer spend, increasing competition and lower margins or just stale designs as it does seem a lot of people are complaining about this lately.

    Along with the fact that we met the threshold and ended up Vat registered at the start of last year we are really starting to feel the pinch a bit now.

    So in general just asking a good method of generating more traffic and sales to our website given our type of business. Should we start by looking at the on site SEO and get that down before advertising? Also what sort of advertising would be best for our sort of business?

    On a final note we have never had much local business and we have operated solely online, but we do see local businesses with large format printers such as ours doing really well both b2b and b2c but wouldn't know where to really start with that side of things.

    Unfortunately I believe the selling platforms that have given us the opportunity to start a business have also held us back in growing by giving us an "easy option" to start and run a business and now we're a bit lost.

    Thanks in advance guys!
    Posted: Mar 1, 2018 By: Sticker Matt Member since: Mar 1, 2018
  2. webhostuk

    webhostuk UKBF Ace Full Member - Verified Business

    1,348 164
    Yes first to rank good in the search engine is really important if you are looking to do business via your website. The second thing you need to do is post your website details on local business listing websites so that others know, what you are offering. The third is creating social media pages and advertising on them. One more thing you can do is creating interesting blog article related to your business and posting them regularly on your website.
    Posted: Mar 2, 2018 By: webhostuk Member since: Jul 26, 2009
  3. Mixture

    Mixture UKBF Regular Full Member

    104 18
    If you have a local Chamber of Commerce or business group, perhaps you could register and get local interest that way?
    Posted: Mar 2, 2018 By: Mixture Member since: Jan 12, 2012
  4. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    3,546 265
    When from £500 is a big climb

    I do not know what you do but I would be tempted to put the effort into ebay and Amazon - it is where the punters are

    Amazon now have a newish thingy where you can do custom graphics such as personalised names for people etc
    That might be worth looking into
    Posted: Mar 2, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
  5. Paul Carmen

    Paul Carmen UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    226 49
    Can you share more about your product, or the website details?

    Essentially you should be able to generate business on all these channels. There are a number of caveats though, the main one being that ecommerce is very price sensitive. So if you're off the pace price wise, without any other unique selling points, then that could explain the sales drop.

    Not knowing your selling price makes it hard to work out what to do marketing wise, as PPC & Google Shopping need a bit of margin to be worthwhile, or it can be hard to make profit.

    It equally could be that PPC failed for you as it really does require expertise to setup & run properly. You need to target very carefully, both keyword wise, demographic & potentially geographically. With negative keywords used to ensure that you're not wasting money on loads of irrelevant search terms that wont get you any sales.

    You should be able to rank a site organically via SEO locally for B2B & B2C customers, but the key thing is to rank for the right search terms. This requires product/services, keyword & customer research, then content that targets these.

    It all comes down to creating a business plan based on the right research & insights.
    Posted: Mar 3, 2018 By: Paul Carmen Member since: Jan 27, 2018
  6. Sticker Matt

    Sticker Matt UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 0
    Thanks for all the replies. Just to answer a few of the questions the £500 sales from the website is since the turn of the year so about 2 months which is probably less than 5% of our turnover from all online marketplaces.

    Typically we sell wall stickers which range based on size from £2 which are just a few of our really small stickers but typical price range is between £8 to £25. Then another chunk of our turnover comes from our motorhome decals which range from £25 to £40. Our pre tax profits tend to be around 30-35% of our turnover. This is after all costs including ebay/amazon fees so I do believe we have some room for advertising for website sales (considering how high fees are on ebay and amazon).

    We have done a bit of research on keywords before but there seems to be so many sites and also knowing whether to target a high traffic key word with higher competition or a lower traffic keyword with less competition always seems to make me wonder.

    As for the local b2b side of things, it is something we have never looked into until recently. Basically we started with a vinyl cutter which narrowed what we could actually produce down to a couple of areas. Last year we took the plunge on a large format solvent printer which opens up a lot of doors into what we can actually do.

    Hope this helps shine a bit of light on things.
    Posted: Mar 4, 2018 By: Sticker Matt Member since: Mar 1, 2018
  7. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    9,737 1,966
    Stale stock signs will soon put people off, you can keep them on your site but at the bottom of any list you show, you need at least a couple of new ones every month to stand out before others copy them

    You could use the multi colour vinyl's as well as traditional colours

    Old car or motor bike logo stickers may be a low cost earner but slow selling think Land rover defender etc

    Read up and do your own SEO, but get a expert for ppc, Bing is cheaper than Google and still has a large base of users
    Posted: Mar 4, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
  8. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,670 262
    This is what stood out from your post for me. If your customers are saying something are you listening and what are you doing about it?!
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
  9. Sticker Matt

    Sticker Matt UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 0
    Chris thanks for the info I will definitely take this on board and look for someone to do ppc for me.

    Sorry the context of my original post was wrong, when I say people are complaining I meant on the amazon and ebay forum boards, there are a lot of sellers complaining about massive drops in sales year on year not the customers.

    I do believe however stale designs and new trends are playing a huge part.
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Sticker Matt Member since: Mar 1, 2018
  10. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    6,044 1,668
    Actually, considering the customers they bring you (95%) there fees are dirt cheap. Considering to set up and test an Adwords campaign properly you should sink well over a £1,000 for a few months ( based on your numbers - 400% of sales ) compared to around 15-17%?

    As mentioned by others, personally, I would concentrate on why your ebay & Amazon sales have dropped.

    As for the website, the standard practice is to leave that as a placeholder and try and entice people to it directly by proving flyers when they purchase off ebay / Amazon
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
  11. Mixture

    Mixture UKBF Regular Full Member

    104 18
    One thing that may be worth doing would be stickers for old garden machinery and the like - we are often doing refurbishments on old ride on mowers for example and often looking for replacement decals and stickers which can be hard to find.
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Mixture Member since: Jan 12, 2012