Online boutique tip: Moving on from a blogspot to a dot com
In Malaysia, a lot of us are still using a “blog” format as well and our platform of choice is mostly the free blog service offered by “blogspot”. In Singapore, there is a huge community of online boutiques that are using livejournal as a platform to market and sell their products.
However, I have a few opinions and tips to give regarding this format.
I feel that our online boutique community has matured enough to move forward and it is important to keep up with the times in order to maintain, improve and expand your sales to reach out to even more people out there.
There are a few disadvantages to using a blogspot format and here’s why
1. MESSY MESSY MESSY
The number one gripe that many of us here at Morelook.com here feel about the blog format to showcase your clothes is that it is too messy. It takes too many clicks to browse through all the clothes, and when it is in a blog or a diary format, clicking on “Older post” after “Older post” just does not cut it. It’s way easier to see things in a grid format. You allow your buyer to see more clothes at once, thus making it more convenient and cutting short the “lag time”. It’s all about providing the best shopping experience, whether it be virtual or physical, and this is no different. When you have a physical store, you have to pay extra attention to details to the interior decoration of your store. If you have a virtual store, you have to pay attention to the layout of your store, that is the virtual layout.
2. Not easily customizable
Have you realized that most dotcoms have a feature that enables you to “Add a product to cart”? This makes it easier for the shopper. Sometimes, putting your email out there on the form, or leaving a contact or order form for your customers to get in touch with you before deciding to pay allows a change of heart, and thus eliminates that “impulse purchase” feeling. Like it or not, marketers rely on this for sales as well. Having a shopping cart and a payment gateway so that your customers can pay immediately would limit the “change of heart” incidences and allow you to leverage on that impulse factor.
Market research is a huge industry and brings in millions of dollars. For a store owner who has done zero research or has little to no information at hand, it is equivalent to driving blind. This is the same for your online store. Having a dotcom makes it easier to install analytics for your blog and this would allow you to have access to a wealth of information that you could further use to expand and reach out to your buyers.
4. Better presence on Google
In the online world “Macy’s Store.com” has a better presence and is more value for money compared to “Macy’s Store. blogspot . com”. The shorter the URL, the easier it is for web surfers and shopaholics to remember your name.
5. How do I get a dotcom?
There are numerous web hosting services that are pretty affordable in Malaysia ^.^ You can easily do a google search and embark on your own research in order to find out the best way for you to transition from a blogspot to a dotcom.
On the other hand, I have been using the services of Twopiz.com for about two years now ^_^ They have been super helpful to Morelook Fashion Magazine, always ready to answer our questions at any given time, and they have always been helpful in terms of giving us advice on what package to use, especially to people like our team who are not so IT savvy. The fact that our website looks super fabulous now is pretty much the good work of the team at Twopiz.com After going through a slew of different webhosting companies (including really popular ones), we pretty much believe that they have the most affordable web hosting packages in Malaysia.
Previously on another web hoster, our site was down pretty much all the time for reasons being “heavy traffic load” which was a shock to us because we were new at the time, and we felt let down and disappointed so we decided to hunt around for a better webhosting provider.
Even if it’s just something simple such as getting yourself a domain name, to something a little more complicated as wanting to create your own website from scratch, you can always give them a friendly hi by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or going to this page to read a little bit more about their support system or just have a browse through their webhosting packages to find out more in detail about each type of web hosting. That’s initially how we found them in the first place, and now we have a pretty good check and balance going on.
It is always important to embark on proper research, and this is no different.
I truly wish to see Malaysia’s online boutiques move forward, and once your blog has taken off to a relatively good start, perhaps you should start considering taking it the next step by moving on to a dot com, like a lot of the other boutiques that we have seen recently.