First 3 Months of my new Company

After eight months of preparation, I started MyWeddingDecor.com.au on April 23. I founded the company to appeal to Australian couples who seek personalized, unique, and unusual wedding decoration. Now, May 15, I had my first sale.

Initial suggestions

Friends and family were quick to provide their suggestions once I told them the site was live. My very best friend suggested I replace the first iStock wedding table photograph on the top of this home page using a photos (or sequence of slides) of my merchandise. She searched in vain for the centerpiece on the hero shot, never realizing I didn’t sell it.

My brother believes that I should show more goods on wedding tables. I basically agree with him, although I do not have time presently to shoot photos. However, I’ve read shoppers prefer clear background merchandise shots so that they can create their own mental imagery.

For now, I am showcasing one product weekly. But I will try this against revealing a set of slides with themed wedding decoration products — such as glamour, handmade, personalized, and rustic.

Suppliers

I’ve 35 providers, mainly artisanal, which are based in various countries worldwide. They supply (thus far ) 84 products. It’s obviously easier to showcase more products in the same providers than to seek out new suppliers. But I must take into account the provider’s exchange rate against the Australian dollar. Products in the U.K. cost twice as much against the Australian dollar, while American providers are a third more expensive, and those in Europe are approximately 50 percent higher, compared to the Australian dollar.

Shopify apps

I use Shopify for my ecommerce platform. I downloaded about 10 apps (paid and free), from the Shopify store. A number of them are simple, like the McAfee website security certificate app, and the complimentary”Improved Contact Type” (my Shopify template does not include a contact us design option).

Other apps are more complicated. I had the most challenges with those who customized my product pages and supply quantity discounts. An app for volume discounts did not function correctly, as clients could alter their minimal quantities in checkout to attain the discount. No one in the app company was available for days on its live chat service.

Ironically, I’ve not had the opportunity to decode the Zapier app, which promises to automate the integration between apps and services. The pluginSEO app provides a premium service to check your search engine optimization work; I’m waiting for the company to complete its review of my website. I’m using the Lucky Orange app, which lets me see visitors surfing my website in real time, showing where and how they click.

Email

I changed from Campaign Monitor to MailChimp a couple of months ahead of my launching, as MailChimp is closely integrated with Shopify. However, I’ve not found MailChimp’s backend process as intuitive as Campaign Monitor.

I’m yet to automate my newsletter procedure. And it was just two days ago I finally managed to link my site to Google Analytics and to make my official business email address.

Since that time I have been upgrading my contact details using Shopify, the app suppliers, my providers, PayPal, and other businesses. I’d really like to use an auto-responder to tell people my new email address, but I do not wish to get spam to this email address.

Marketing and public relations

By undertaking three weeks of Facebook advertising ahead of the launch, I brought an extra 4,000 fans to My Wedding Decor page. I’ve noticed the heavy stream of traffic from mobile Facebook fans. I had great open rates from my previous clients at It’s In The Stars. I will email them for an opportunity to win one of ten $100 My Wedding Decor gift vouchers.

Pinterest is yet to pay off — it’s a notorious time suck. However, I have connected my Facebook and blog posts to Twitter. Many wedding Twitter accounts appear to have been inactive for many months or more. Yet in the two weeks since I have found my Twitter page, I have had the identical amount of visitors originate from Twitter as for Bing. I have taken out memberships with two wedding directories, and have allowed a third, a nonprofit organization for Melbourne-based wedding providers.

I also have written a few press releases and have been slowly updating my journalists’ contact list and checking their magazine deadlines. For some reason, I feel afraid to get in touch with the attribute editors about my site. I need to get over this, particularly since I am a former journalist.

Wedding bloggers are next on my schedule. I’ve been writing and posting my own wedding-related blog posts every 3 days. But I am not happy with the blog pages’ appearance. Unfortunately, this section isn’t a design priority, so it will need to stay text-heavy for the time being.

Sales

In my first 3 weeks, I had four Facebook message enquiries, 1 email via my”Contact Us” page asking to get a smaller amount of one of the goods, and my very first sale.

Up to now, I’ve had a cart conversion rate of 2.7 percent,– i.e., percent of total visitors that put items in their cart — and a real sales conversion rate of 0.16 percent.

So there is more work to do.