TAGS: #online store
Way back college days, that was the year 2005 onwards, I have always been fond of selling things online. I have sold over a hundred domains and websites. I started with PrettyCloset.com, Choowawa.com, Twinzy.com and more. I have sold Englishtutorials.net before for $2000 USD and Powertutorials.net for another $3000. I am a freelancer, website flipper and a housewife. I stopped being an employee only a few months after college. My buy and sell experience certainly didn’t make me rich but it helped me pay my bills and indulge sometimes.
So here, I will show you how I started my online baby store:
- Know how and where to get your sources
Are you going to be a drop shipper? According to BusinessDictionary.com, a dropshipper is an:
Agent, distributor, or retailer who carries little or no inventory but earns commission on orders passed on to the manufacturer or original supplier. The ordered goods are ‘drop shipped’ (see drop shipment) directly from the source to the customer. Most of the network marketing firms and internet based merchants of books, drugs, supplements, toys, etc., are drop shippers.
Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/drop-shipper.html
In my case, I became a distributor and a wholesaler. I imported different brands from US, Australia and United Kingdom and shipped them to Manila. You need to pay import fees or contact a broker.
You can get your goods locally and apply as a reseller or source your items from AliExpress, Oberlo, DHGate, Amazon and more.
2. Get the right domain – short, memorable, brandable
August 2012, I bought the domain BabyShop.Ph and BabyShop.com.ph. The popular ones end with a .com, but since it is very hard to secure a top level domain, I opted for the .PH wherein my store will actually target Philippine consumers.
3. Create your online presence with a website and a Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
You must get a shared or VPS hosting for a faster website. I recommend HostGator, Godaddy or Bluehost. If you need someone to create and design a baby store, let me know. Just comment here or SMS 0915 72222 13. If I create your website, it will include all the functionalities you will need to run your store such as inventory, shipping, invoicing, payment methods, and more.
4. Register your business
I know most of the sellers start with Facebook or Instagram to sell their items. However, if you wish to grow your business, you need to sell legally. This means, you need to secure all permits and licenses from the government.
First you go to DTI (for sole proprietorship) or SEC for corporations and Partnerships
In my case, I decided to create a corporation and registered it as BabyShop Philippines Inc. It took me about a 3 days to prepare the documents and submit all the requirements to SEC. Give another 1 to 2 weeks for your Barangay and Mayors Permits. The last step would be to secure your BIR tax registration and printed receipts. Learn about whether to register as a VAT or NON VAT business. Learn more here
Currently, I have registered at DTI as Web Giant Online Trading.
5. Launch your marketing campaign.
It is not enough that you have created a website. You need to reach your potential customers too. Submit your website link to Google and other search engine and directories. You need to create content or blog. You can use Facebook ads and Google Adwords. I usually create contest campaigns and give out coupons every month. We have also connected with celebrities like Amanda Griffin, Maggie Wilson, and Kris Aquino. We have made our presence on TV and in magazines.
6. Join bazaars, expos and mom communities.
You can join Babies.Ph, Treat for Tots, Baby Expo Philippines, Mommy Mundo, Momzilla and the like. I even had to order a custom cabinet and table for our expos. You will be meeting different people who are also interested in the Baby and Kids industry. We even had the chance to get a free trip to Hongkong.
The first 6 months of launching your online store will be hard. I went from 1 sale in a month for up to over a hundred in just 3 months. It will take good products and a good marketing campaign to jumpstart your business. Now, BabyShop Philippines Inc. has been sold and I am currently still in the business of buying and selling domains and websites.
7. Choose the right courier.
We have tried and tested Fastrack,ph and BayadPo (no longer in the courier business). I suggest you also use Grab Express for faster same day delivery for smaller goods.
8. Apply as a merchant at Lazada, Zalora, Shopee.ph, BeautyMNL, CashCashPinoy
You can earn more not only from your own website but also from other top online ecommerce sites. They will take care of shipping the goods to your customers.
9. Get ready for expansion
We had a “Too Fast Too Furious” moment then. We had the chance to sell at Rustans and was invited over by SM Store to open our own brand. However, after only 2 years I felt that I was not ready to expand without the skills and capital to invest in the retail chain stores of SM.