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Looking to launch an ecommerce business but don't know where to start? Learn how four entrepreneurs went from concept to creating profitable online businesses. Inside these free PDF case studies you'll discover:

  • How to find a product to sell
  • How to strategically approach shipping and fulfillment
  • How to get more traffic and sales for your ecommerce website

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The 16-Step Guide to Evaluating the Viability of Any Product Idea

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When it comes to building a highly profitable ecommerce business, choosing the right product is without a doubt the most important piece of the puzzle.

A critical first step in making sure you’ve picked a winner is evaluating the market demand, competition and viability of the product itself.

Get this step wrong and you run the risk of wasting your time and energy, or worse, sinking a bunch of money into inventory you can’t move.

Get it right and you set yourself up for sales and success.

To help you determine if you’ve got a viable and profitable product idea on your hands, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide that shows you exactly how to take a look “under the hood” of your market and your product to make sure you’re building your business on a strong foundation.

 

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How a Childhood Passion Evolved Into a $1K per Week Ecommerce Business

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Chris Dammacco bought his first video game console, the Nintendo Entertainment System, at the age of 6. His grandmother gave him $100 as a birthday present and told him to go buy an NES.

From that moment on he was a gamer.

That passion has never faded. Last year Chris started Windy Gaming, a business around vintage, or retro, video games as a side-project while working full-time. Today the childhood passion and side-project has turned into a full-time ecommerce business that yields him about $1,000 per week. What’s even more amazing is that he’s managed to accomplish all this with a basic website, a modest following on social media, and a very DIY approach to product photography.

We document that journey and draw out the lessons you might apply to turn your own passions into a successful (and profitable) full-time business.

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How a 107-Year-Old Sneaker Company Reinvented Its Business With Omni-Channel Retail

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Michael Packer, owner of Packer Shoes, knows a thing or two about sneakers. His family has been in the business for three generations. The original Packer Shoes store was started by his grandfather and great-uncle in Yonkers, New York in 1907. 

A lot of things have changed since then, like the store's relocation to Teaneck, New Jersey, and the company's foray into ecommerce, not to mention its budding clientele from around the world. But what hasn't changed is Packer Shoe's commitment to their community which now consists of "sneaker heads" – people who are so passionate about shoes they don't mind camping out overnight to get their hands on the latest and greatest pair.

With 107 years of history behind them, Packer Shoes continues to blend the old with the new, maintaining its heritage, while embracing the modern. Their non-traditional approach to offline and online marketing has allowed the company to adapt and thrive to this day.

In this success story, I catch up with Mike to get to know more about how he runs his retail business and successfully sells both online and offline.  

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40 Tools and Resources For Creating Beautiful DIY Product Photography

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Good product photography is important. It increases the perceived value of your products and makes your website appear more trustworthy.

But taking your products to a professional photographer can be expensive if you're just starting out. That’s why we put together the ultimate DIY guide to beautiful product photography, so that you too can shoot some gorgeous pictures that sell.

As a follow-up, we’ve compiled 40 tools and resources to help you take your own product photos.

Here they are.

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What is Heartbleed and How Does it Affect Your Ecommerce Website?

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Earlier this week, a security flaw known as Heartbleed was published that affects approximately two-thirds of all websites that use SSL encryption. This issue greatly impacts ecommerce websites because every online store that accepts credit cards must use SSL encryption.

Since its disclosure, there have been many news reports about Heartbleed and how it’s affecting websites, software and services across the internet. We want to provide more details on Heartbleed and how it affects ecommerce merchants. Most importantly, we want to stress that merchants and their customers using Shopify are safe from Heartbleed. 

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The DIY Guide to Launching and Marketing Your First Pop-Up Shop

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Opening a pop-up shop is one of the best ways to build buzz for your brand, reach new audiences and generate more sales for your business. To help you get stared on your pop-up adventure, I previously covered how to go about determining goals for your pop-up shop and how identifying these goals can better inform decisions on creating an immersive retail experience.

Now, it’s time to revisit your goals and priorities, and begin crafting a pop-up marketing strategy with the assumption that you've picked your location, scouted it to the best of your abilities, negotiated a good deal with the landlord and have already dived into designing your store. 

But, before getting started on marketing your pop-up shop, it's important to remember that regardless of the campaign you're launching, the messages you send need to have a strong hook, create urgency and target people that write about the product or promise you're selling. There must also be a method like crafting a calendar of PR and social objectives, in order to empower you to have a more effective approach.

In this post, we will explore how you can take advantage of traditional media outlets, engage influencers, learn to craft an editorial calendar for your social strategy and finally when you should turn to guerrilla marketing.

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How To Evaluate Market Demand For Your New Product Idea

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Over the last few weeks we've been posting a series of articles to help you figure out what to sell online. In our first post in this series, we learned eight strategies for finding your first product, in the second post we discovered 10 places entrepreneurs go to find product ideas, finally in our last post, we shared 10 product ideas that are currently trending.

Let’s say you've implemented the advice from our previous posts and you've come up with your own product idea. How do you go about validating if there's market demand for your idea and determine if there's potential to build a profitable ecommerce business around it?

In this article we evaluate the potential demand for one of the products from our previous post and show you how you can do the same for your own product ideas. 

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Shopify POS Update: New Lower Price, Gift Cards And More New Features

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Last year we launched Shopify POS, our iPad point of sale system made for brick-and-mortar retailers and pop-up shops.

Shopify POS seamlessly integrates with your online store so your products, orders and customers are always in sync. Bridging this gap between online and offline selling was an important step forward in our mission to make commerce better.

Today we’re excited to announce the release of a major update to Shopify POS which includes some great new features and improvements for merchants.

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How To Hire an Interior Designer for Your Retail Store and Why You Need One

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When you're used to being a bootstrapping entrepreneur, you have a tendency to want to have a very DIY approach to most things and are scrappy enough to make it all work on a limited budget. Especially when you've been successful selling your products online and are now looking to new channels to grow your business.

Whether you're opening a pop-up or committing to something more long-term, the world of retail can be a daunting and unforgiving place if you overlook things like your window display, store layout, signage, and merchandising. 

However, sometimes it makes sense to trust things to a professional. 

In this post we'll look at why hiring an interior designer for your retail store can be crucial for your offline selling success, and how to go about hiring one.

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Why Every Ecommerce Business Needs a Blog (And 9 Ideas to Get You Started)

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You want traffic to your site. Blogging generates traffic for your site. Everybody understands the first part, but surprisingly few businesses grasp the second part.

It’s tempting to give in to the idea that the only way to generate sales is engaging in direct sales. Handling inventory, nurturing your email list, and calling to make potential customers will only go so far past a certain point. If you’re spending all your time trying to convert customers, then you’ll soon be neglecting reasons for customers to discover your business in the first place.

Blogging is a great way to build your audience and generate more traffic and sales for your business. You shouldn’t treat it as an unnecessary luxury. Even infrequent posts can help your business.

How?

Having more blog posts drives traffic to your site because it improves SEO; it lets you tell stories that convert visitors into customers; and it increases the chances of engagement, not just on social media but also on traditional media. You might increase the chances of being covered by a news site, which are usually seen as more credible sources of opinion. And besides, all that stuff you hear about content marketing? For most businesses, that means keeping a good blog.

If you need some inspiration, this post features examples of three small businesses that run excellent blogs. Stay with us as we explain how a blog helps your business, and to see the examples of stores that get it.

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