Sometimes, we wait for some unique circumstances that will push us to make the right decision and move to the next level. This is the very scenario Amy told us: reanimating a loss-making cosmetology center in Costa Rica, she had to look for a source of extra income. And this is how ecommerce let her rescue her survival business.
Hi! Please, introduce yourself.
Hi, my name is Amy. I live and work in Costa Rica.
What’s behind your story? What do you do for a living?
Well, two years ago, I opened a cosmetology center in Alajuela. And things were good. There was no end to clients. We started to grow, recruit new staff members, and so on. But then, a pandemic began. And it affected my plans heavily.
There was a lockdown and further limitations. A rough patch began. The number of visitors dropped A LOT. I had to pay the rent and wages. Finally, it became clear that we were running at a loss.
Actually, I even had to get a loan to settle up with the staff and landlord. This was the moment I told myself this can’t go on. I started to consider my own survival business model. And this is when a new chapter in my life began.
What’s the way out you’ve found for your business survival?
Well, this wasn’t actually so easy. The point is that I didn’t want to leave my survival business. This is my hobby, I love to do what I do. In fact, I believe that someday my cosmetology center, which is now no more than a survival business, will flourish again.
However, at the moment, I can’t expand it or even make it self-sufficient, you know. I mean to make it run in a stable way and at least pay for itself, without any profit. So I decided to pause it and switch to any more or less reliable source of extra income.
And this is how I ran into ecommerce. Actually, online shopping always seems pretty interesting to me. I’ve thought about starting an online store many times because there are lots of benefits for an owner.
Why did you start an ecommerce business with Sellvia?
Well, this is clear. I compared all the options to start an ecommerce business you can find on the market. Sellvia’s offer seems to be the most favorable.
Actually, you need to decide first what you want from this business, its goals and targets, and so on. I wanted to target the US. This is the biggest audience with the highest potential and purchasing power. This is how I narrowed down the list of options to start.
So, why Sellvia. Okay. Firstly, Sellvia has its own warehouse in California. So there are no problems with fast shipping. Secondly, there are only hype products these guys offer. Finally, it’s the marketing pack that matters. Sellvia gives you time-tested marketing materials. So you can benefit from your ad campaigns with no effort.
By the way, they are quite helpful. They provide the example of the stores they build for their clients. This also matters. For me, it’s important to know in advance what I get. Then, I’ll be able to decide.
And, well, yes, the price is also crucial. Most other companies charge fees throughout your business journey. The more money you earn, the more fees you pay. Sellvia implies no extra fees. You buy a store, and you become its 100% owner. For me, that’s essential. After that, the only thing you need to pay for is the Sellvia subscription. It provides access to Sellvia products, marketing packs, educational materials, etc.
What is your store? What niche did you choose?
Well, I’ve already run a highly specialized business. That’s why I started a general store.
For an online store owner, this eases the product selection. Plus, I was glad to see that all the Sellvia products are really in high demand. So it remained for me only to choose any products from the Sellvia catalog and that’s it.
How many products are there in your store?
Actually, my store’s product range is quite big. I got the cheapest store package available at the start. It included only 50 products onboard. It doesn’t seem much, right? But, actually, this is quite enough to get a smooth start. With so few products, it’s a lot easier for you to manage the store, create product pages, monitor their performance, etc.
As a rule, there are several products that generate the most revenues. These are so-called flagship products, you know. And these are the ones you will focus all your marketing efforts on. All the rest items are for a cross-sell only, so people buy them in addition to the one they’re looking for.
And you know, you won’t promote all the products in your store. It doesn’t make sense. Nevertheless, I wanted to run a much bigger store to satisfy a greater number of customers. This is why I decided to add more items to my website.
How did you increase the number of products in your store? Is it a niche or general store?
Hmm, this is a tricky question. Well, it’s kind of a general store. So the idea behind the store is to let any person who visits the website find what they need. I believe, the wider the product range is, the bigger the target audience is, the bigger revenues are, the higher conversion you can count on.
Now for the way, I expand the product range. Okay, I prefer doing such steps gradually. At first, 50 products were more than enough. I experimented with them, launched ad campaigns, and so on. At some point, it became clear it was necessary to increase the number of products and, you know, accelerate.
So I started searching for the products that suit my store perfectly. Luckily, with Sellvia, it’s a pleasure doing that. All the items you see in their catalog, they’re high-demanded. So there’s no need to worry. Just add the ones that suit your store or simply you like and that’s it. No more poking around or any risk you face items with no ecommerce potential.
So after some weeks, I bought an upgrade package of more products to be added to my store.
In that way, I extended the product range to over 500 units. At the moment, this is exactly what I need, no more and no less.
This number lets me fill the most popular niches on the market. Meanwhile, there’s no mess in the store. All the products are well categorized, with their well-crafted product pages and fine texts.
What is your advertising strategy? How do you promote the store?
Well, I launch advertising campaigns on Facebook and promote my store on social media. That’s a typical strategy for online stores, I guess.
Facebook advertising is now the quickest and, probably, the most reliable way to get favorable results, make your store popular, collect a customer base, etc. And if you have any experience with PPE campaigns and things like that, you’ll easily succeed in that. All you need is to spend money on testing different ad creatives. But if you haven’t, in theory, you are likely to face a number of issues.
This is the very scenario I’ve met, you see. When I started to promote the store, I suddenly realized it was hard to create an ad text. I’ve tried so hard, but my ad creatives were hardly able to attract customers in the right way.
And it was Sellvia materials. I mean it’s all about marketing campaigns that go with each and every product on Sellvia.
After a long line of failures, I decided to rely on these materials. And do you know what? They really work!
What’s about the store performance now?
Before I started to launch ad campaigns based on the marketing materials by Sellvia, the store did poorly. My own ad creatives didn’t work well. They only threw money away. As a result, just a couple of orders, and a total lack of money.
However, when I started to use Sellvia’s ad texts, the situation changed dramatically. The Sellvia team is absolutely right when they say these are time-tested, money-making ads.
So when I started launching ad campaigns with Sellvia, there were about 500 products in my store. After a half month of the active store’s promotion on Facebook, the results speak for themselves. The store made $4,364.72 within 12 days.
Just imagine, the store not only paid off for a couple of weeks. It has already started to bring profit! Now it’s time to raise the advertising budget and wait until it will skyrocket the revenues!
What do you think plays a crucial role in such a success?
Well, this is one more complex issue. Probably, I just got lucky. But it seems to me that everything happens for a reason. As an old proverb says ‘no pain, no gain’.
As a business owner, whether we speak about a brick-and-mortar store or an online business, you need to be flexible and keep trying things. I started with creating my own ad campaigns and failed. But it only seems like a failure. But thanks to it, I decided to look for a more reliable solution, to be sure. Fortunately, Sellvia gave me one.
I tested advertising materials by Sellvia and I’m fairly certain that they really work. No doubts.
By the way, I believe my strategy regarding the product range itself also paid off. Because I’ve noticed these are not only my flagship products that are sold. Internet users surf the website and order items from different categories. It’s exactly what I need! I expect any customer will find something he or she needs. And this works!
What would you recommend to ecommerce newbies?
Be wise, flexible, creative. Ecommerce is the very place you need to use the trial-and-error approach. Don’t forget that ecommerce services and software companies now offer a number of solutions. They will ease your business management significantly. Moreover, they will let you earn more, but also spend less.
My choice turns next to Sellvia. And, I never regret it, actually.
It’s really beneficial to team up with Sellvia. This is an all-in-one solution. It’s about a reliable supplier with high-quality products. Plus, they have a warehouse located in California. This leads to the fast shipping option that is really perfect. 1-3 days delivery, short processing time, and no failures.
Since I target the United States, fast shipping is crucial. The point is that US citizens are used to delivery within 2-7 days. Most of them don’t even consider a product with a four-week delivery.
Due to Sellvia, my store can easily provide fast shipping within 1-3 days. Profit!
These are the aspects that give me an advantage over competitors and let my store stand out on the Internet. Now I’m sure that my store does its best to make each and every customer happy.
Will you go on collaborating with Sellvia any longer? What will you do with your survival business?
Yes, I will. With the prices of the software and services they offer, I believe this is mutually beneficial.
I wish to thank the team of Sellvia for such an opportunity to start a profitable online business easily. Plus, I’m thinking about restarting my cosmetology center, a survival business that is now on hold.
The moral of Amy’s story is you need to lose to know how to win. Amy turned to ecommerce, and she has no regrets: her online store is flourishing. Now she’s on the way to restart her cosmetology center, a survival business that was put on hold because of the pandemics. This is how a source of extra income is actually saving an offline business. Are you also eager to become an owner of a money-making business? Team up with Sellvia and avoid all the barriers you may face!