This post has been brewing in my mind for a while. I don’t necessarily have some grand message to convey with it, but wanted to share the ‘status’ of the Capitol Romance Store – and everything I’ve learned to this point about it all.
When I was thinking about starting an ecommerce branch of the Capitol Romance brand, I was swept up in the usual “how hard could this be?” and the whirlwind of passive income. I had multiple people tell me “it was such a good idea” and I had an awesome new email from someone looking to get into the wedding business, that had product design experience. The signs were all there!!
So I went through rounds and rounds of design creation, and then started on the “it can’t be so hard to set-up a wordpress site” journey. Turns out (shocker) it’s not that easy to just set-up an online store. I got the domain, and started tinkering with WooCommerce … but then came the PayPal integration, the SSL to ensure payments were secure, the selection of which ecommerce company I was going to use to print/ship the items.
Then came picking which designs, on which items, writing product descriptions, setting up appropriate shipping options & ensuring taxes were in order, writing pages on the site about how I would handle returns …. and the list goes on. Wow it was SO MUCH MORE than I thought would be required to get this up and running, and quite honestly it would have NEVER happened without Kara taking over the reigns. But finally, last Fall, the shop was officially launched and I was THRILLED.
And then came another smack of reality – just because you built it, doesn’t mean they will come. Meaning, just because I spent all this time with Kara, pouring over designs and products and descriptions and getting promo photos & a marketing video DOES NOT EQUAL actual sales. And therein lies the biggest thing I’ve learned so far with eCommerce: how the hell to market this online store & turn it into sales.
And I don’t have that solution yet – the truth is I am learning and trying and struggling to figure that out. But I have learned so far that holy crap, ecommerce success requires so. much. marketing. And marketing isn’t exactly my strong point. Our plans for 2017/2018 are to push our CapRo products into wholesaling spaces & try and get our stuff in local shops – but like marketing, I am not exactly sure how to do that, other than some old fashioned cold emailing (which as of yet, has gotten us exactly no where). So if you have suggestions, articles, online courses, advice to share – I am all ears and open to all kinds of learning and attempting right now.
And so while the online store hasn’t been this huge, instant success, I am not close to giving up on it yet, because I really love my designs and still believe the shop can be a successful part of Capitol Romance LLC – I just need to figure out how :)