It’s almost always a hard job to start a new business, and in a country like poland it’s often even harder when it comes to online business. Only about 65% of the polish people has access to the Internet here in 2016. This is pretty low compared to a country like USA where almost 88% of the population have some kind of Internet access. When you can only reach about half of your target audience, selling things became a bit harder, compared to the type of companies where almost all of your potential customers are able to see your products or services. My friend Henriette, recently started a new online business here in poland called Zeva – Billige klapvogne og accessories online, which is an online jewelry store, selling products like billig klapvogn, bæreseler, slynger, and strækvikler. It was a low budget site, so there wasn’t a lot of money to spend on marketing, which made it even harder to reach out to the people using the Internet. Since it was only targeting the polish market, it turned out to be quite a challenge. Let’s take a look at some of the steps involved in starting the Zeva business and how Henriette chooses to handle those.
Creating the webshop and getting started
Getting the concept ready, and building the website was the easy part. Henriette had a friend who had experience with webdesign, so he helped build the Magento solution really cheap. It took about two month to build the Zeva website, and then another week of testing and configurations. Insted of having hundreds of different categories, she wanted to focus on a few selected ones like klapvogn, slynge, baby bæresele, gåvogn and legetøjskøkken. This way it would be a lot easier to display the main products, rather than people having to browse through tons of products in order to find what they need. It was then time to add the various social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in order to reach the customers on those media too. For a designer like Peter, it was an easy task to create the various profiles needed for the social medias, and the graphics for those.
Finding the products
One of the hardest parts was finding the right product line. With the tagline – Billig babyudstyr og accessories til klapvogne, it had to be some cheap products, but also products having the right design and a high quality, something that usually didn’t goes together. All sample jewelry products had to be tested for nickle, so that they would be safe to wear. IT also had to be some products that appealed to both the younger people, but also the older. And they also had to fit the current fashion, otherwise they would be pretty hard to sell. Zeva wasn’t the only shop having this problem, as you can see in our old article here, there are many other similar examples.
Promoting the business
Once all the products had been added to the show, it was time to open up the business and start selling. Unlike a local shop, where people walk by every day, it requires a lot of work to bring the visitors to an online site. You had to either buy the traffic through online advertising, such as Google Adwords, or Facebook Ads, or you had to use the social medias to get peoples attention. The problem with a site like this is that it’s brand new, so it is not even visible in the search engines compared to a big site with thousands of products and a lot of internet history. So even though Poland only has about 65% online people, it’s still almost impossible to reach just a few percentages of those people. Sometimes it really is easier to just start a local business, even though the potential isn’t quite a big, but at least it’s often easier to get started and begin to sell from day one.