Monday, January 5, 2009

Tips for venue switching

Let's say you sell your wares online (or even in a brick and mortar shop) and you decide that another venue is where you prefer to be. Do you move everything over right away, alert your customers to find you there, and start promoting that link instead?

NO!

First of all, you shouldn't even be promoting someone else's website. What happens if they crash? If you move your shop later? If your shop gets closed due to administrative error? You're out of luck. Instead, have a forwarding domain. They're only about $10 a year through websites like GoDaddy. This way you have a web address to provide customers and potential clients that will always direct them to an up-to-date location.

Second, spend time getting to know your new venue. Is it all you thought it would be? Does it do what you need and are used to? Is it out of beta? Sometimes it takes awhile to get used to a new place, to learn all the buttons and tricks, and to decide if you can put up with the quirks. Make sure you really want to make the switch before you do it. Another thing to keep in mind is that if a site is in beta (which many of the new handmade venues are) it is going to have problems. That's what beta is for, ironing out the issues.

Third, you shouldn't have all your eggs in one basket anyway. It's sometimes difficult to spread out when you make one of a kind items, but you should always have a backup plan or venue, some way to complete a transaction should your shop go down. No need to keep a customer waiting because one site malfunctioned.

And last, but not least, be self-sufficient. Have all of your information backed up on your own computer and keep track of everything yourself. Don't expect the venue to retain what you need when you need it. This includes photos, descriptions, tags, prices, shipping information, and sales figures. You'll need it handy when you decide to switch to another venue.

One thing to remember is that different people, and products, have different needs. Go with what works for you, but don't make a leap of faith that can end up causing problems for you and your business. Take it slow and smart.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

yup, great advice, I still have to figure out how the heck to forward my domain arggg..