When starting up a new ecommerce store, you want to have all the help you can get. It sometimes gets a little daunting when confronted with all the issues that come up – not just major issues, but the day to day headaches you never imagined. This isn’t Business 101 anymore!
So in honor of our 2000+ new WePay Stores, here is a starter list of blogs and conferences to get you on your way. We’ve also thrown in ten places for you to source products for your store. This is by no means a complete list, as there is an absolute ocean of information out there to take in and use. Check it out!
Ecommerce has been around for quite a few years now, so there has been plenty of time for various folks to work out the kinks and discover tricks. Of course, the world of online selling is always evolving, so you don’t want to get left behind, either. These ten blogs should give you a good start with news, thoughts, and discussion.
- 1. ColderICE – John “ColderICE” Lawson is a superstar in the ecommerce game, constantly giving advice, news, and honest, straightforward discussion.
- 2. Get Elastic – Get Elastic has won all sorts of awards, including the #1 Ecommerce Blog by PostRank.
- 3. Ecommerce Journal – The ECJ pumps out ecom (plus some tech and mobile) news all day long!
- 4. Ecommerce Times – If the ECJ didn’t cover it, the Times will – plus, it’s in more of a “blog” style.
- 5. Online Seller’s Resource – Though most of what Skip McGrath covers is in eBay and Amazon, it’s also good advice for all ecom stores out there!
- 6. Shop.org – A wide variety of bloggers about a wide variety of topics.
- 7. The Whine Seller – Hillary DePiano has been in the ecom game since the beginning of eBay, so she knows her stuff!
- 8. Better Retail – Want to know how your customers see your store? Look no further than Better Retail!
- 9. ProBlogger – Your customers almost expect your store to have a blog, so get to writing!
- 10. Practical Ecommerce – Features everything from productivity apps to reading lists to interviews with pros to help you succeed in ecommerce.
Conferences can be some of the most enriching experiences you’ll have as an online seller. You’ll meet tons of people, make loads of future contacts and potential sales, and acquire endless knowledge. All within a couple of days!
Here are ten to check out – hopefully at least one is in your area to get you started.
- 1. Internet Retailer – Live in Chicago? New York? San Francisco? Houston…well, you get the idea. Internet Retailer’s conferences are all over the country and going on most of the year.
- 2. Schmoozd – Since you’re just getting started with your store, you probably need to learn more about social media. Skip all the jargon and start talking at Schmoozd.
- 3. BlogWorld – We mentioned above about starting a blog, and of course there are conferences for it. Los Angeles will see BlogWorld descend in November.
- 4. Entrepreneur Magazine – Entrepreneur Magazine holds several conferences a year, including the “Growth” conference in January. Keep an eye out for that one!
- 5. Small Business Summit – Headed back your way next spring, the Small Business Summit focuses on issues and topics straight from other small business owners’ minds.
- 6. Summit For Women – Is your business run or geared towards women? Then make your way to Tennessee next fall.
- 7. Inc. 500/5000 – Learn from the brightest and best at Inc Magazine’s 500/5000 conference. Featuring folks like Russell Simmons!
- 8. Biz2Beach – Not exactly hyped about wearing a suit and tie all day? Then hit up the Biz2Beach conference in San Diego. Laid back but just as devoted to the cause.
- 9. Open Mobile Summit – Takes place in San Fran in November, and covers ecommerce, electronics and mobile tech.
- 10. Public Relations Society of America – As a new business, you probably won’t be able to hire a public relations expert. Instead, learn all about being your own PR champion at the PRSA’s many conferences.
10 Places to Source Product
One question might be on your mind right now as a digital entrepreneur – where in the world do I find stuff to sell? It’s one thing if you’ve invented the next mousetrap, but if your store is more of a one-stop shop kind of place, you might be a tad overwhelmed.
Well, worry no longer! There are plenty of places to find what you need for your online store, you just need to know where to look.
- 1. Garage Sales – Talk about some cheap deals! Two hints – go either early in the morning or in the afternoon. Morning time you’ll see what all they have to offer, then in the afternoon they’ll be practically giving it away to get rid of it.
- 2. Estate Sales – Speaking of great deals, check out some estate sales for random and vintage items. It may seem a little weird depending on the circumstance (i.e. the owner died), but someone’s got to take this neat stuff, or they’ll throw it away!
- 3. Clearance Stores – Google Map “clearance store” and you may be a little surprised at how many there are around you!
- 4. Liquidation Sales – Like an estate sale, a liquidation sale comes about when a store goes under. Imagine if you sold books during the Borders debacle?
- 5. Antique Stores – You never know what will turn up at an antique store. Spend hours poking around and you could find some real treasure!
- 6. Junkyards – Don’t dismiss junkyards as, well, junk – if you sell used auto parts, for example, there is no greater resource.
- 7. Your Friends – Your best bud is always complaining how the baby’s clothes don’t fit anymore and they’re constantly buying more. You just realized you have a constant supply of baby clothes!
- 8. Rummage Sales – Some thrift stores and charity groups hold “rummage sales” to get rid of excess stuff – take advantage!
- 9. Wholesalers – You can also try and go through a wholesaler. It’s one of the most reliable ways of getting product and they can usually offer you deals.
- 10. Your Own Closet – Did you know you have a ton of treasure in your garage and attic? It’s true, go look now! If anything it’ll give you an idea on what you want to focus your store on in the future.