We all love Gifts. Even a small gift brings immense happiness the same very moment when it is given to us. The same thing applies to everyone. Gifts are small bundles of joy through which we share the love, appreciation, affection and so many feelings. But to choose one is at times is a tedious task. You can find a large variety of items in the market as well as online but to get a customized gift item is generally not available. So this thought came to my mind. Why not a website on Custom Gifts? I agree there are other websites too on the same topic, but what I think they lack is that extra special personal touch.
Let’s begin with this Website Idea and how you can start one of your own.
1) Think of a great and unique website name. The first building block to any startup today. Secure your desired name beforehand. And also get best web hosting through BlueHost. These are basic things needed and you must book at the earliest.
2) The second step is to design a website. You can either choose to get it done by a freelancer or by yourself. WordPress, OScommerce, Magento and other platforms are available which are all free to use. If you are interested in a hosted all in one solution I would suggest Shopify and if you want to self host it and do all by yourself there is nothing better than WordPress and Woocommerce. Hundreds and thousands of people use Woocommerce successfully.
3) Now beings the actual thing. We need products. If you make your own stuff then start with a handful of them. Click beautiful product images of them for the item page gallery. This will tempt your visitors and convert them to potential customers. Let us take an example of Home Made Handbags. Women love handbags of various varieties. If you are well aware of how to get things for creating such items then you are on track already. You can also collaborate with other people who make such items.
4) It is upto you to decide that how many categories you want to keep in your catalogue. Some suggestions are Photo Frames, Handbags, Earrings, Candles, Mobile Covers, Magazine Holders and so on. The list is endless and you can take a whole lot of inspiration from websites like Pinterest.
5) As with any other online business you need to advertise your products/website. For this you can use Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. Though many other options are available but nothing comes closer to these two. So this is the reason I wouldn’t even recommend you anything else. You can also do tie-ups with Snapdeal, Flipkart, Amazon etc too if you like. Don’t forget to list some of your items on eBay too. It will provide you more exposure and also sales too.
6) Custom Forms need to be added to product pages. The form needs to have some or all of the following fields :-
~ Emboss/Engrave Name
~ Desired Colour
~ Picture/Graphic (if applicable)
7) You can also allow your customers to request for something extra if they spend extra or also provide discounts if they order more than one item. This will give you more sales.
8) Do not lower the quality of the products at all. Nobody likes a bad quality item and they are more than likely not be buying again.
9) Don’t forget to create your home office, workspace and storage/display area. If you want then you can go for a showroom so that you can sell offline too. If it is going to be in house then an empty room is sufficient. A larger room is obviously better for this purpose. Again for this you can take inspiration from Pinterest.
10) For any online business, online transactions are necessary. To achieve this you can use Paypal, PayU, CC Avenue and others. And if you have chosen Shopify then its all inbuilt and you do not have to worry about it at all.
11) Courier – You need to ship the items which are bought by your customers. So for this you will need a courier. Instead of sending items one by one you can partner with them. This will also decrease the cost of shipping the items.
12) Returns – You need to specify your return policy very clearly. This is much important as people believe only those sellers who have a proper return policy.
The above 12 steps are all you need to start your own Custom Gifts Startup. To sum up read this… Think of the items you want to deal in. Make a list of them all. Create a few items in all the categories in your catalog. Take product pictures of them. Get a domain & hosting. Create a website. List all items, photos and price them accordingly. Advertise your website. Start selling and taking orders. Offline promotion and selling is an added advantage. Pack the item. Ship it to the address provided.
That’s all folks!