Alternatives to Etsy: Six Marketplaces Ranked

The tumultuous first half of 2017 has left many handmade businesses wondering about alternatives to Etsy. Changes at the top, layoffs, and a spate of new “experiments” all add to the normal level of uncertainty among sellers. It’s never a good idea to rely on a single sales channel for your business, but the question is what to supplement Etsy with? Setting up your own website gives you the best insurance, but marketplaces have their benefits as well. Read on to see how some of the top marketplaces compare to Etsy in terms of quantity, and quality, of customer traffic. Is one right for you? Continue reading “Alternatives to Etsy: Six Marketplaces Ranked”

Lift Off Summit is Coming!

What’s the most thrilling moment when you start a new online store? Making it public and sharing it with the world might be your answer, but there’s one more moment that’s even better: making your first sale! Too often website and online store projects are 100% focused on launching the site and lose sight of the website’s #1 job, making sales. So I am excited to announce a free, online event dedicated to helping online store owners get their first, and many more, sales: the Lift Off Summit.

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What Makes Etsy Changes so Controversial?

Etsy changes things about their service all the time. Just about the only time they aren’t testing or introducing changes and new is the Christmas season. There’s nothing unusual about this—technology companies are always developing their products and services to improve them or keep them competitive. Shopify, for example, releases piles of new products at their annual Unite conference, and WooCommerce issues major updates at least once a year. But there is one way in which Etsy is different. When WooCommerce and Shopify make changes, it makes their users cheer. When Etsy makes changes, it makes their users furious.

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Abandoned Cart Emails are the Least You Can Do

Abandoned Cart Emails are the first automated email you should set up for your online store. Even though they might only work 15% of the time, that’s 15 orders out of every 100 abandoned carts that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. But there are also other emails you can send to past or potential customers in order to reduce cart abandonment and increase repeat business. Since I know that you can’t do ALL of them right away, I’m going to list them in order of importance, and at the end I’ll give you some links to get you started. Ready? Let’s go.
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Emotional Roadblocks to Growth: Breaking Through the Top 5

Sooner or later every solopreneur runs up against some emotional roadblocks to growth that threaten to hold their business back. Two common roadblocks are not feeling like you’re ready to make a big change or give up control over part of their business’s operations, and feeling like you don’t have the money (or aren’t comfortable taking out a loan) to invest in products or services that their business’s future will rely on. Even if you know that both steps are necessary to keep your business growing and thriving they are HUGE mental and emotional humps to get over. So what’s a solopreneur to do? Continue reading “Emotional Roadblocks to Growth: Breaking Through the Top 5”

Marketplaces vs. Your Own Website: Where Should You Sell?

“Should you sell on Etsy or another marketplace? Or should you sell on your own website? Or should you sell on Etsy and your own website?”  I visit a lot of forums for artists and makers, and there always seems to be at least one thread on the front page devoted to some variation of this question. It’s a source of anxiety for a lot of handmade businesses, a kind of amped-up FOMO: a fear that wherever you are selling you’re not selling in the right place. So what do I say when someone asks me one of those questions? I start with my favorite answer: “it depends…”

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Why You Shouldn’t Use Stripe

Stripe is, hands-down, the best payment gateway out there for most online stores and eCommerce sites. Stripe is the default payment gateway for both WooCommerce and Shopify for several reasons: they’re the easiest to use, have great customer service, and don’t cost an arm and a leg. It makes you wonder why there are over a hundred other payment gateways out there—why shouldn’t you use Stripe?

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The Best Plugins for Using WooCommerce for Wholesale, Reviewed

Using WooCommerce for wholesale is an effective way to make your online store work harder for your business. By expanding to wholesale, you can get your products into physical stores in your area or all around the country without taking on the risk and expense of starting a physical store yourself. To start using WooCommerce for wholesale you’ll need some plugins to add wholesale-specific features. This article reviews and ranks four plugins and plugin suites that are designed to make using WooCommerce for wholesale simple and easy. Let’s find out which one makes it to first place. Continue reading “The Best Plugins for Using WooCommerce for Wholesale, Reviewed”

Getting Started with Facebook Messenger Chat Bots for WooCommerce

Here’s a question for you: if you run an online store that is always open and is available to customers in every time zone, how do you provide the best customer service experience? For those of you who answered “Stay Online 24 Hours a Day!”, I admire your dedication but I don’t think there’s enough coffee in the world to make that work. A more realistic solution that many companies use is to use a Live Chat feature that lets customers leave a message when you’re not online. But what if there was a way to answer customers’ questions in real time, even when you aren’t there?

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