Before starting my E-commerce Business Failure story just allow me to introduce my self. If you already know me you can skip this paragraph. My name is Shahzeb Iqbal. I am an IT graduate, not because of my Passion it was only because my friends and cousins were doing it. The only thing that I was passionate about was Business. And that was because of two reasons:
1- Everyone in my family had chosen job over business and they were not happy with their decision. And those who tried business failed miserably. So, I just wanted to give it a try so that I won’t regret the rest of life.
2- And the most obvious reason was to earn lots of money.
So coming back to my E-commerce business story. I was in my 4th year of Bachelor in 2014 and was seeing many online stores making fortune. So, I thought why not give it a try.
The plane I had in my mind was very simple. Make an online store, promote it on Social Media and get tones order. lol
Because of my IT background, I knew how to code but the problem was I wasn’t good at it at all.
So I started watching youtube tutorials, on “How to make E-commerce Website in PHP?” from Scratch. E-commerce Platforms likes WordPress, Magento, and Shopify were available at that time, where you don’t have to code a single word. But I chose to code from Scratch and learned PHP. Can you believe that?
So long story short it took me almost a year to launch my first E-commerce Store. The best part was I learned how to code the right way.
Soon after the completion of my first E-commerce Store, I bought a Domain and Hosting from Godaddy which cost me around $70 back in 2014 and then I finally uploaded my website and made it live.
Quite honestly after working for a year and seeing your website live for the first time was something else. 🙂
Now coming to the final part I made a Facebook Page and invited my friend to like my page thinking that they will be my first customer (Innocent me).
At that time I was able to get 100 likes within a day. After almost a week my page had nearly 500 likes. But trust me Facebook Likes does not matter much.
I was happy with the flow until the reality hit me when I posted all the best of my products on my page and none of them were sold even after a month.
And oh sorry I forget to tell you how I managed to get some products.
So I was on a very low budget and could not afford any stock. So I went to the Wholesaler asked them for images of products that were available and uploaded it on my website without investing a single penny. It was the only smart decision I made.
After none of my friends who liked my FB page bought a single product. I finally decide to promote my products through Facebook boosting. I spent between 20$ to 30$ on products from time to time but did not get any success.
Quite honestly I was so disappointed because it was the only backup plane I had to skip cooperate job.
But Almighty wanted something else. The web development skills that I learned helped me to get a decent job in an IT company with:
– Handsome Salary
– An Upgraded Laptop
– Free Medical
– Travelling Allowance
– Most importantly an awesome team members
(But it was just for a time being and How I came back into E-commerce Business again and made sales of $10,000 each month is another story which I will share with you in my upcoming post)
Mistakes and Tips for E-commerce Beginners
So this is the most important portion of my article if you are a beginner in E-commerce Business. Here are the tips I wish I knew earlier.
- Use E-commerce platforms like Magento, WordPress or Shopify. For beginners, I would recommend WordPress. It’s free and easy to install and you can make your website live within an hour.
For beginners, I don’t recommend spending your time and money on making E-commerce Website on programming languages like PHP or .NET
- Start small by targeting a specific niche like T-shirts. Don’t go for all the products at once. Most newbies target different products at the same time and end up as a failure.
- Initially, don’t spend your money on Product Stock. Like most people believe that in order to run an online store they should buy products and keep them in stock.In order to run a successful online store, you must have to test various products initially and it would be a waste if the product that you invested won’t sell.So what’s the solution for Stock?Find some good quality products and ask vendors for HD product images and just upload it on your website. Try boosting those products on Facebook and see and act according to the result.
Go for stock when your able to generate dozens of the orders each day
- Before starting Facebook boosting, learn how to boost the right way. Facebook boosting will only result in failure if you are targeting/showing your ads to the wrong people who have no interest in your products.
- There are two ways you can promote your Facebook Ads, either through a Personal Account or a Business Account.
I would prefer a Business Account because you can make multiple accounts in it and have more options as compared to a Personal Account.
- You must read Facebook Advertising Policies if you promoting your ads on Facebook. Because if you by mistake violate any of the rules mentioned in the policies, your Facebook Ad manager account will be banned forever. And your Website will not be able to generate orders from Facebook Advertising again.
- Customer satisfaction matters the most. I was able to generate more orders when I gave 100% Return/Exchange to my customers within 7 days. And be best honest with your customer regarding product quality and your commitments.
- For E-commerce Orders, don’t rely on Facebook Marketing only. Although Facebooks Ads are currently the best way to market any products because of its reach.
As a backup try other platforms like Google Ads, Twitter, Instagram etc from time to time.
There are thousands of Online Stores that launches every month and trust me only very few of them get success in the long run. And many of them who got success in this business have reattempted and didn’t give up.
Tips that helped me after failure were:
– Make your website on WordPress by yourself. (Trust me its very simple. Just watch some good videos on Youtube)
– Start Small by focusing on a single Product Niche.
– Don’t go for stock first, just upload the images on your website and start experimenting through Facebook boosting.
– And Before boosting learn how to boost and target the right user for your product. There are many articles/videos on it. Just google it else you will just waste your money on Facebook Ads.
– Be honest with your Customers about the quality of your product and commitments.
I hope you liked the article. Let us know your feedback in the comment section.