A lot of people lost their jobs, businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Some countries continue introducing restrictions and new covid-related regulations which affect normal business processes. We were one of those millions who also were severely impacted. For over 8 years we successfully developed our small oil and gas service company and looked at the future quite optimistically. Well, it was before 2020. The drop in oil prices and COVID-19 changed our plans a lot. In spite of having contracts with O&G production companies, we basically couldn’t do much because of cost-cutting and reduction of job orders.
Sitting at home and waiting for a resolution of the situation did not help much and with the time passing by, we started to realize that the crisis would not end soon, and we had to find another way to survive. At the same time, it was obvious that the world was turning into digital format during COVID much faster than before. Thus, we also had to find some alternatives to our oil and gas business. After a couple of weeks of brainstorming, we decided to take advantage of sitting at home and build a new digital asset that in long term would give us some sustainable income.
Therefore, we ended up with an online drop-shipping store of luxury high-quality useful products where people would order from. We found suppliers of exclusive tableware, glassware, and many other essential quality products and signed exclusive contracts with leading and small manufacturers. Then we studied how to build a WooCommerce store from scratch using the WordPress platform. It took 8 months for us to understand all the small details about how this platform worked, set up flawless order delivery procedures, quality control, and many other things that for sure were a key to a successful e-commerce business.
Finally, we were ready to introduce our shop to Google and we did it. Actually, I personally expected orders to fall on the first days after our shop went live because it was quite colorful and contained a lot of beautiful pictures and great descriptions of our unique products. In fact, we overestimated our expectations and during the first few weeks, we couldn’t even find our shop on google. We spent so much time, effort and ended up with such a fiasco. It was an absolute disaster and a mental crush for us. We did not realize that Google took some significant time to process our store because it has got more than 1000 products. In fact, it took us 4 months more to understand how Google ranked such online stores. Every day we watched tons of videos, read a lot of articles, and finally learned the core of SEO.
The first product was ordered after 5 months from the time we set our store online. It was an enormous achievement for our small but hardworking team, and we had a family celebration at our house. The next few days brought us another 4 orders from around the world and with the time passing by the number of purchases increased gradually. And they were not small items, but full sets of unique art pieces starting from hand-crafted cognac glasses and ending with the porcelain tea sets from the state major manufacturer.
These days we are selling around 135 products every month but understand that we are still at the beginning of our journey. We must learn much more to make our small enterprise even more successful but at the same time, there is a strong understanding that e-commerce is not a new idea but a big future and an affordable business model for small teams or even families as an alternative solution for an official office job. Now we hired a small team who process orders, fill new products and do SEO. In 2021 we set a goal to reach 250 product sell targets per month.
By Tamara Shubenok, Best Wonder Store CEO.