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Top 3 Listener Questions

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Entrepreneurs need to make adjustments and Jesse and Rich had a cancellation due to a tornado. So they took the opportunity to answer questions from listeners.

You’ll learn about:

  • Instagram only stores
  • Instant Site launch and where to go down the road
  • Name and URLs

Transcript

Jesse: What’s going on, Richard?

Richard: What’s happening? How are you?

Jesse: Good. I’m good. New music there. I feel like we got a re  I don’t know — refresh.

Richard: Yeah, it’s good. I love it. It fits the theme of our show. Entrepreneurs adjust, we’re constantly adjusting.

Jesse: Exactly. We’ve got new music. This is probably episode thirty-eight, I believe. So we’ve added new music, we added new intros and outros over time. Hey, we are entrepreneurs just like you. And yeah, you have to adjust, so today as part of the adjustment we had to get a guest. There is a tornado in Tampa today, so we are adjusting on the fly here.

Richard: And just so you know in case you’re listening on a different day than we’re recording, this is actually being recorded on for 1919. Don’t worry if you’re listening to a future date, start calling your relatives in Tampa. (laughing)

Jesse: Yeah, please, don’t use us as your news source. Come on. (laughing)

Richard: Just for e-commerce.

Jesse: E-commerce news source, I like that. That’s a future pod. All right. We’ll add that to the list here.

Richard: Yeah, it’s kind of been just to go with that for a quick second. I mean if you think of every single thing in life, do you start knowing it all? Whether it’s sports…

Jesse: We talked about as a baby or… (laughing)

Richard: The teenage years don’t count because we all think we knew it all. Yeah, that’s true. But like whether it’s Tiger Woods, we just saw him make adjustments. I mean, man, look how many years went by and then all of a sudden — boom, right back up in the mix and there’s a lot of good players right now. Crazy. Sports teams constantly making adjustments. And as an entrepreneur, you’re not going to know all the answers all the time. You got to get started and then you just make adjustments along the way. And we thought why not just roll with that as the theme in today’s podcast. We get a lot of questions at Ecwid at specifically podcasts — with an s  @ecwid.com and get a lot of other feedback from customers and surveys and MPS and review sites and support and just all that.

Jesse: So the note there is hey, everybody, we always appreciate those surveys and things like that because real people actually read that information and we see it and we incorporate it into the product and things like today’s podcast.

Richard: Yeah. And then we want to talk about it, we want to cover those things and we pick three questions at random, wasn’t like the top questions necessarily, but we’ve seen these multiple times and we just thought: “Let’s go for it. Let’s make an adjustment. Let’s show what entrepreneurs do and let’s answer some of your questions as you are entrepreneurs trying to make adjustments to your site.”

Jesse: Yeah. And I think the questions we picked out are interesting because sometimes the answer is not three words. It’s like “well, it kinda depends.” Here’s the situation, here’s what I think you meant by that and here’s what you do. So the podcast is a perfect time for that type of a slightly bigger discussion that maybe the tone of an email wouldn’t sound right. I think we’re on the right path here.

Richard: Perfect. All right. So what we have in question number one is “I just want to sell on Instagram. I don’t want to build out a site. Can I just build out an Instagram store?”

Jesse: All right. The answer here, say, it’s multilayered. So, Rich, the first thing I want to say is “Come on, you’re being a little bit lazy.” You just want to take over the world but you don’t wanna do any work. Okay.

Richard: I’m glad you put that on me. (laughing)

Jesse: I’m looking directly at you saying that. The answer is yeah, come on, you can do a little bit more work. But yes, we have a solution for that. If you don’t have to build a site, you can just sell on Instagram. OK. The thought process here is if you want to sell on Instagram, those products need to live somewhere. They need to be in a product catalog, so that when Instagram is referencing that Shoppable post, the tag. It needs to reference something. It’s referencing your store, your product catalog, it just so happens Ecwid is actually perfect for that because we’re more of lighter weight e-commerce than some of the other platforms out there. If you just want to sell on Instagram and you don’t want to build a site — I’ll get over being lazy part — but you just start adding the products to your product catalog, you get the prices, you get all the things you need, all the things that Instagram needs to reference there. OK. By the way, you need to charge tax. You need to figure out shipping and you want to take money. This isn’t just a… There are other ways to do that but if you want to get paid and you want everything work, you’re better off using an e-commerce platform for that. For sure.

Richard: You’ve got that collecting the money part is pretty important part. Entrepreneurialism in general.

Jesse: Yeah, people are like “I want to be really easy” and then you’re like “Yeah, but you’re just going to post some stuff on Instagram and then how are you going to get paid?” People are going to get paid by Venmo and everything is going to be a pain in the butt every single time. Go ahead. Good luck. All right. I’m not trying to be mean there, I’m just like “Hey, you found the right place. Just take a couple more steps here and take care that basically shopping cart functions which is what we provide.” So now let’s say you’re still set on “I don’t want to do a starter set.” OK. I don’t want to do a website. Fine, you can do the product catalog and everything is going to work on Instagram. I would also say by the way, if you can fill out your Facebook profile and an Instagram profile, it’s not all that different from the one page Instant Site, where it’s a little bit of the name of your store and the address and the hours and the contact info and a little bit of “About us”. If you can fill out a little profile on Instagram, that’s basically about us. Copy and paste and put it over your Instant Site and man up a little bit here and put the work into it to do your store. Anyway, yes, you absolutely can do an Instagram store without building a site but I think you might be missing something there. Just also do a site, it’s very easy.

Richard: And you might as well have multiple locations. If you’re selling a product, you’d like to have it in Target and other locations as well. Not just one store. So why not have both? But the easy answer to the question that a few people have asked now is you can, as long as you get your products in there and you see the basic setup. You don’t necessarily have to route anyone to that store but at least when that is set up, it can also be sold on that store, should someone find that store. But you can do exactly what the question was, you could just set up an Instagram store, just do these other things, you can actually collect the money.

Jesse: You’re one step away from actually having a site. So why don’t you…

Richard: Might as well finish. I get it. I just want to clarify that they could do that and there it is. You might as well have in two places. Two is better than one in most cases.

Jesse: Now, Rich, hold on here. I’m going to throw in a little bonus tip here that we did not talk about. So with Instagram, I think it’s important for people to know there is an approval process. If you sell products that are questionable under any way, there are certain states that you can’t sell this or certain cultures. Instagram is probably not going to approve you for that. That’s not us. We’re not Instagram and there’s not a lot of people, there’s not like you can call the 1-800 number for Instagram and get this stuff done. You do have to be a little bit patient and sometimes they reject products for no reason and then please just talk to our support and we can usually push things along. But there’s not operator standing by at Instagram, it’s sort of… I don’t know, it’s an Internet company like you’re probably not gonna go talk to the front desk. Sorry.

Richard: No problem. Thanks for the bonus there. All right. And speaking with or I should say continuing to go with the Instant Site comment, there was one specifically around. Someone saying almost the exact opposite: “Instant Site is too basic for my needs. Is there something I am missing?” So this person isn’t lazy. They want it. They want to actually do some work there.

Jesse: They’re overachievers. (laughing) All right. I like the overachievers over the lazy person. A couple of things here, I think this is actually good. A podcast is good because there’s a lot to be discussed here. By the way, it is called a Instant Site. This is for people to get their start. It is a one-page website, it is fairly basic. You’re gonna have your products listed on the home page. You’re gonna have an “About us”. You can have some contact info on the bottom. That’s not a whole lot. And I get it. This is really geared primarily towards people that are just going to start, just getting started. A lot of times that’s going to be good to your first fifty thousand dollars in sales or your first year or so in the business when then you’re gonna start saying like “I think I need a little bit more.” OK. Yes, I get you. I get you. There’s a couple of things on the Instant Site though. About a year ago… I’ll skip this section here. We are working on a huge update to this. We have heard the feedback. We want it to be a little bit better as well. I don’t want to take all the steam away from the people that are announcing this but you got to see something on this the next week or two probably by the time this podcast goes live. This will be all rolled out. It’s a basic, it’s a wheezy way so you can now adjust and change things on the fly. It’s going to be as you make the change what you see is what you get. That’s a wheezy wig for anybody who doesn’t know that. So you better change things on the fly, move things around a lot better now. At the end of the day, this is still a one pager. This isn’t meant to be like the biggest website in the world. The reason why is there is a whole bunch of site builders that exist already, that do this really, really well. I think if people are looking at Ecwid, they see the Instant Site and they think this is it, no that is not it at all. This is just to get people launched and going. If you have requirements for a blog or for pages that talk about all the employees on in the company and the company dog and things like that, you should have a full site. And absolutely we want you to. That’s going to make you more successful in the long run. And for those other sites, really the most common site out there in the world is WordPress. So WordPress came from the blogging world. Ecwid has a really tight integration, we have a plugin. So your Ecwid store is going to work perfectly inside of WordPress and with the themes. It’s going to adapt the styles. And it’s called the… It basically adapts the CSX of the site, so a little bit more advanced there. I’m not trying to scare everybody out there but basically, your Ecwid store will look like your site in WordPress using the plugin. If you like Wix, Wix is actually a really good cloud-based site builder. They have a variety of different prices and Ecwid is the number one e-commerce app in their app market. It does a lot more than their basic store does. So Wix is an option. We had the Joomla guy, the volunteer president of Joomla not too long ago. So Joomla is a very good option, has been around a long long time. There’s a bunch of other companies out there, and I mentioned one, and other people are probably gonna get mad but I mentioned Duda. I think it’s kind of like this sleeper out there. I think it’s a really awesome site builder that you can do a lot of testing and things like that. It’s great on mobile and Ecwid works perfectly with it. If I may sum up my answers here. The Instant Site is just for people getting started. It’s a one pager. I think it’s awesome and gets people going and get some selling. It doesn’t get them bogged down in the design of 20 different pages most of which are not really needed. Just gets people going and selling right away. And then when you’re ready to build out a bigger site, Ecwid works perfectly with a bunch of other different CMS that do things… Be best in class. Don’t try to be like second class in five different areas and some of our competitors will make you basically starting over with a new site.

Richard: To that point, it’s back to the theme of the show too. It’s adjustments, so they can get started really easy with the Instant Site and for this person that’s like the high achiever, they may or may not have and we will send them this link to this podcast and letting them know that we’re…

Jesse: Trying to be nice, I was mean and I’m sorry. Just trying to be real here, being honest with people.

Richard: Now they know, there are other content management systems that they could be building out whichever their preferred platform is. It’s great, fine, and there’s not going to be a lot of heavy lifting. To your point, you don’t have to start all over. Even those who start their site and do this other thing. Do you have this other blog and you want to connect the two, it’s going to be relatively seamless. I mean it’s a plugin, teeny bit of work but it’s less time than the amount of time we’ve been talking.

Jesse: Absolutely. And by the way, this is how Ecwid was created, as a company was meant to be an answer for people. Say, well I already have this great website. Now I just need that little shopping cart thing, I just need to add e-commerce. All right. So that’s why Ecwid was created, to answer that question. That’s like native functionality for us. That’s why we exist. We do it perfectly. You just need to dig a little bit deeper. The starter set was really just more of a… We wanted to be the easiest option for people to sell online. And so when you come in from the cold and you’re not looking at another site already. We default towards the easiest fastest option to get people selling and then kind of layered below that are more advanced options. We updated the way we show products about a year ago maybe. Maybe your site is different from others, there’s a default. It’s like “OK, need a couple of pages, couple products across the list, the name of the product and the price”. But let’s say you want to hide the price or you want these shadows or you want to show six products. Six is maybe too many but like you have some more products across or you want to show one product. Those are all options that are chewable inside the platform that you don’t need any coding. You can just play around with it and immediately see what it looks like. That’s more of the product display side. I think there’s a lot of options for people. You want to play around with a little bit but you do not want to touch code. I get it. I’m with you. We’ve made all these things very easy. So check it out, it’s in the design section. Talk to support if you have questions, they’re going to be able to help you. Hopefully, I didn’t dive too deep into this but that’s the gist of it.

Richard: That’s awesome for the people who want to dive deeper. You gave him the answers. So here we go. All right. Question 3. This is the question around the name of the store and URL. And it says “I want my store to reflect my brand better. How do I actually name my store, my brand name?” And this came up on one of our podcasts where we actually had one of the Ecwid users, Kissed by a Bee, that came on and this has come up many times. So what we have to say about that, Jess?

Jesse: Shout out to Akilah, Kissed by a Bee. Thanks for that question because I see it come up quite a bit actually. I see a lot of different stores and I see that the name of the store will be where we started off again, we default to the easiest options. So your store name is going to start off with store12345-blah-blah dot Ecwid.com. That’s from day one when you sign up, you already have a store that exists at that URL. Great, you have that, but you’re not gonna use that, that’s ugly URL. We are totally aware of that. The easiest way to do that is to swap out your brand name. So this is going to be in the menu on the left side, go to, I believe, settings. Don’t quote me on that. Let’s talk to support on that. But you’re going to see the place where you just type in your brand. If it’s Kissed by a Bee, it’s now kissedbyabee.ecwid.com. So that’s a step up and you can put whatever brand name you want in there. And it’s going to live at that URL and it’s going to have some search rankings as well because it’s attached to our URL. That’s sort of like the interim. Long-term, absolutely positively you should own your own URL. No matter what, just period, you should own your URL. You don’t need to do this from day one, it depends on what stage you are. If you just started today, you don’t need to go buy that. But if you plan on being business in the long haul and this is a real thing for you, do go search, you Google it. There’s a bunch of different registrar’s out there. I won’t even mention because there’s so many but you can basically buy a URL for about probably 10 bucks a year. I think is kind of the low end of that. They’re going to have all sorts of upsells and everything. So be careful. But yeah, you want to go look for the URL and then when you buy a URL, you can connect that to your Ecwid store. We actually just checked. So we typed in Kissedbyabee.com, it now exists. That domain now points to the Ecwid store and that’s where you want to get to. Don’t freak out if you didn’t understand some of those terms I just mentioned. Number one you certainly can change the name of your subdomain. So like instead of store123 you want to swap that out to your brand name and it still going to live on Ecwid.com. You’re still not paying, this is part of the free plan. You have your own site on the internet, but yes, you should get a URL, you’re not even paying us for that. You’re paying somebody else. It’s about 10 bucks a year, you own that and then you point to it. Then again this is still available in the free plan. This is not for us to get more money. This is for you to start building a brand and start building traffic to your own URL. Now kind of more with that on the name. You want to make sure that it’s available. A .com is always better. People are getting a little more creative with the other dot. You know, there’s all sorts of dot stores, .io, .co, dot you name it. I think the key when you have this brand in mind, you want to check out the socials. You go to search, that is available on Facebook, available on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. You don’t need to have all of them, for instance, somebody grabbed Ecwid on YouTube. So our YouTube name is youtube.com/ecwid_team, I believe right? So that happens, don’t cry over it. Sometimes you won’t get them all but generally, we own Ecwid on most of the social platforms like Instagram and Facebook and such. Be aware of it, I think, is the idea. Go check it out and you can always adjust a little bit, it’s not that hard to go to Instagram and search for the name you want and see if it’s there.

Richard: Yeah. No, it’s perfect. And it fits the theme of the entire episode, it’s entrepreneurs start out with goals. And then they have questions that come up, they have concerns that come up, they have issues that come up. It’s not about things not coming up, it’s about making adjustments and correcting towards the vision that you’re wanting to do. So perfect. That was a perfect example. Our Ecwid that could have said: “Oh my gosh, it’s gone on YouTube, it should be renamed.” Of course, we’re not going to rename our…

Jesse: We couldn’t get it on YouTube. We just said: “Well, we’ll do Ecwid team.” And so we got over it.

Richard: Don’t get too paranoid. There’s one thing I’m going to add, try to get them if you can, to Jesse’s point, but if you can’t, maybe it’s an underscore, something across, whatever it is, but just keep adjusting, keep doing these things. Definitely, appreciate these questions. They’re your questions. They’re not questions we made up. So I would say one of the things that’s most important in this whole process is remembering we are here to help you find tips and tricks and make adjustments to your store. These were questions provided by you. There are also questions that come up with some of the Ecwid users that come on the actual Ecwid E-commerce show. Where do they go, Jesse, if they want?

Jesse: There’s a ton of places you can go, our email is podcasts@ecwid.com. That way you can give us a bit more, you can tell us a question, you can tell us you want to be a guest. That’s the idea, come on, be a guest. You can get 20-30 questions answered and a review of your site while you’re on. Be a guest, let us know your questions, here we want to be helpful. That’s what it’s about, the podcast being helpful, make it happen. Rich, any last thoughts?

Richard: Get out there, get in the business, make adjustments, and come back, listen again. Send your questions to us.

Jesse: Thanks, guys. Bye.

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Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

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