Having your own business is a great thing. Especially something creative you can do in your leisure time, turning a hobby to a business. Either it is your creative hobby to business as a part-time income option or a full time business, eMalhar offers a great platform for your business to start without spending any money on technology or marketing. You may be wondering how to set up an eMalhar Shop and if it’s the right thing for you. Here are some great tips on How, What and Why on setting up a shop in eMalhar.com.
What do you sell?
Always a tough question to answer, but if you are already making something or already have a passion then it is easy to answer this. Bottom line is, whatever you choose, it needs to be something that you enjoy doing, if you love it, if you have a passion – you will continue doing it and you will have a better chance at succeeding. Identify your passion or interest -painting, handmade jewelry, photos…you can sell almost anything on eMalhar as long as it’s not mass produced. Check out emalhar.com categories to get some ideas if you need a little guidance or inspiration on what to sell.
Do your homework
Once you identify where your passion is and what you want to sell, it is time to do some homework. First you identify your target market; identify who is your customer. Are you going to sell to a niche group or a broad spectrum of people in that category? Who are your competitors? A clear picture of whom you are going to sell and to how is important. It is equally important to create a brand that will stick to your buyers.
Do you have enough products to sell?
Having enough products in stock is sometimes important. Even if some of your products are made to order, you should have a clear picture on how much time you will take to make them. Also when a customer visits your store, they might want to see some products that are readily available. So do your math and keep something in stock and for the rest, let the customer know when they can get it after they order.
Additionally, the number of items you are going to sell is also important. Who wants to visit a shop if it carries only very few items? So always keep 10-50 different items in your store. The more items you have, the more visible you are and the easier to find in searches. Take some time to really create and refine your products that you want to list in your store.
What is in a name?
How you are going to name your shop? Deciding your shop name is a fun process, but it also has some serious impact on your brand and sales. It is not that easy to find a name that represents the products you sell, that represents your brand and passion that sticks to a buyer’s memory! Brainstorm and with your friend and family and make a list of ideas and search synonyms before committing to a name.
Defining your shipping and return policy
I always like to see the shipping policy of a seller before I buy. Since you are selling handmade products, most of the time you may not have the product in stock. That’s OK. If you take 3 days to create your product and 1 day for packing and shipping, just tell your customer that your processing time is 3+1=4 days. Then usually the shipping agency will take 4-5 days for delivery. So in this case your processing time is 4 days and shipping time is 5 days. Specify that in your shipping policy so that the buyer knows that it will take about 9 days for them to get the product. This is much better than the buyer wondering how long it will take them to get the product. Remember, if you want to make your customer happy, be upfront, specify your shipping and processing time and get them the products as per your shipping policy.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, yeah we heard this many times, but remember, in an online market place it can also be worth thousands of rupees in revenue. Today the most successful online sellers are someone who post well taken, high quality photographs. There are many articles available online which talks about taking best photographs of your products, how to resize them etc.
When buyers are browsing through many product photos they get attracted to clear, bright photos that really show off the product. Clear photos set a realistic expectation of what a customer will be receiving in the mail, helping you to avoid the hassle of returns and exchanges. Make sure the product photography is clear and the descriptions are detailed and to the point.
After seeing the photograph, your buyer is going to read through your product description. It is important to list all you need to tell your customer in the product description. You need to describe everything about your product for sale. What color is it? What is it made off? If it is made using a unique crafting process, describe that.
If you use a language that is both reflective and informative of your brand’s personality, you have the chance to capture your shopper’s attention in ways that the photograph alone cannot. It is also important to create descriptions that are concise and memorable. Include the most important information in the beginning of each listing to draw shoppers in and to make your shop more search-friendly.
Price your products right! Do some research before you price your products. You have to be competitive but also make sure you aren’t selling yourself too short. Remember, low price of your product is not the only deciding factor for your long term growth. Your packing, shipping, photography, your time to answer/interact with your customer etc. plays a very big role in your long term growth and should be considered while pricing your products. You customer wants a good shopping experience, not just a low priced product.
Packing and Shipping
Shipping is an important aspect of your online business. eMalhar has a few options for shipping. You can define your own shipping cost and shipping method. Don’t forget to include your shipping materials like bags, boxes, labels, tape, etc. in the price of your shipping cost. Also, to improve your shopper’s experience, you can include a surprise note or a surprise gift thanking your buyer. Pay attention to use good packing material and careful wrapping to show extra care for your products. Make sure your buyer will be excited to see your packing!
Returns or Exchange
Sometimes your buyer may not be happy with the purchase, don’t feel bad about it. It is always advisable to give them an option to return or exchange products that are not opened or used.
Usually, if there is a damage with the product, ask the customer to return the product and either refund the product price or offer them an exchange. Make the customer happy and make them trust you; they will come back to you with more orders!
Some general guideline or return charges are as follows: If a customer received a defective item, it is your responsibility to pay all the associated costs to get them a good product. If the customer decides to return an item due to incorrect selection – or because they simply changed their mind – they will usually be responsible for paying for return shipping fees. However, if the product was incorrectly advertised or presented on the website, you should cover the return charges.
Make sure that you have your return policy written clearly in your store policy pages or your product page to avoid any future issues with your customers.
Finally, let them know who you are!
eMalhar.com provides a place for you to write about you. A buyer like to see whom they are buying from. Write a short description about you, why you are passionate about your product, how you make them, how you like to service your customer etc. Include photos too.