10 things I’ve learnt from running my own online store – part 2

Back in March 2022, I sent out an email with 10 things I learnt from running my own online store. I blogged about it too.

I sent it after just 3 months of operations.

And it remains one of my most popular emails to date.

Now, 18 months in, I have 10 more learnings to share with you.

No doubt you’ll learn something, whether you’re in ecomm or not.

So let’s get to it.

  1. Against my better judgement, I have a popup that offers a discount in exchange for an email address. I don’t like the way these things disrupt the flow but it’s getting us subscribers even if the discount is less than 10 USD (25AED for anyone curious).
  2. Abandoned carts are a lot less frequent – but we still don’t convert as well as we’d like. But given how few carts get abandoned, I’m not mad!
  3. SEO continues to dominate as a revenue source. My ad spend remains the same but does not compare to the ROI from SEO. Til date, organic has brought in 40% of my traffic and 50% of my revenue. Paid? 25% traffic, 20% revenue. My SEO game is on point, son! (I run an SEO consultancy called Jambread if you want these amazing results!)
  4. Micro influencers was key to growing our social presence, esp. for our Ramadan and Eid range. We got A LOT of followers and a few sales. But people were more interested in the giveaways we ran through these influencers.
  5. We also ran our own giveaways which performed a lot better than the ones we ran with micro influencers. Interesting! In future we’re gonna back ourselves and rely less on influencers.
  6. People still ask all sorts of bizarre questions – like, they’ll visit the site, send me a screenshot via WhatsApp and still ask me how much. Human behaviour won’t change. Which leads me to my next point…
  7. WhatsApp is a tremendous customer support tool for us. I can’t stress this enough. People appreciate our quick replies and helpfulness (despite the silly questions). We’ve turned many uncertain folks into happy customers just doing this. This makes me not want to use Shopify Inbox or any other chat service – People use and prefer WhatsApp!
  8. Ramadan 2023 was our biggest in terms of traffic and sales. But the month after was slow. It’s also a weirdly uncertain economical time globally. But we’re doing ok. The story: view your results/analytics in the right context!
  9. Despite putting a ‘leave us a review’ card in every single box (just scan a QR code and write a message), people still don’t do it. We know they’re happy with the products because we get the occasional message on social or WhatsApp – but no one appears to be in a rush to leave us a review. Not entirely sure why – perhaps we need a good incentive.
  10. People get spoilt in the UAE with lightning quick delivery of everything. So much so, we’re now seeing a huge demand in same day delivery (best we can do is next day). It takes time to put together our gift boxes so same day isn’t always possible – but this is where we’re looking to grow the business further.
  11. BONUS LEARNING: people appreciate the simplicity of the site and I do like that we’ve kept it uncomplicated. This is my own preference for minimal design but also an SEO consideration. That being said, the theme is out of date and the site is dated. No one is complaining but I want to give it a facelift. Will this take us to new heights? Who knows.

I want to add that I’ve done very little SEO on the site in recent months apart from making a few updates to internal links and updating our Ramadan and Eid range.

We still outrank direct competitors and are constantly putting the heat on the much larger and better resourced competitors.

It’s tempting to maintain the status quo but with all the changes coming from Google and changes in consumer behaviour, I don’t believe it’s good business to stay complacent.

I’ll be sharing more updates as our 2 year anniversary rolls round in November. It’ll come up faster than you think!

What are some other things you want to learn from my ecomm experience?

Got any of your own you’d like to share?

Let me know!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.