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Illustrated, packed and shipped with love. By me.

"Every sticker is a medal you award to your laptop for having served you with trust and computing power"
Anonymous User on Quora,  circa 2017
Know 
your
sticker:
This image shows you 2 different sizes of stickers on a laptop for references

How did this experiment go?

1. In 20 days, I got 49 orders.


2. I earned 2x what I spent on setting this up, and what I spent covered inventory for 30-40 more orders.


3. 5 of my 49 were repeat orders.


4. 12 orders are from people I didn't know at all (which is great considering I didn't spend any money on marketing)

 

5. After I stopped taking orders via my website, I got a few requests for custom illustrations via instagram.
 

Here's what I learnt from this experiment:


1. The stickers: People love puns and pets. The most customisation requests were from pet owners who saw my 'Adopt Don't Shop' stickers. This sticker drove word of mouth for me - all of the 12 people I don't personally know bought pet stickers.

My most popular sticker was one that said "all struggles are tempurary".

2. The shopping experience: I used Wix to set my site and my store up. I strongly recommend you don't. Wix has an extremely poor shopping experience for mobile users (76% of my orders came from phones). Clicking on any product takes you straight to your cart resulting in a frustrating experience for customers. If most of your traffic is coming fro social media, make sure to set up a mobile friendly store.

3. Shopping behaviour:
People place their orders late at night.
Orders that are meant to be gifts have higher value than others.
Introducing a mini variant made the number of large stickers I sold and the average number of stickers per order increase.

4. Logistics: If there is any part of this journey I would gladly have outsourced - it was logistics. Between having each sticker printed, tracking orders, managing new orders, chasing around xpress bees delivery personnel, following up with shippigo, packing each order, communicating delays to customers AND my full-time job, I was exhausted. I'm willing to bet that over 50% of aspiring small business owners give up on their businesses because they're put off by logistics. This part was very disappointing.

5. The longer it takes for your order to get delivered, the less likely people are to share it on social media. The logistics aren’t just stressing me out, they’re costing me organic mentions.

6. Where do people find me: most of my orders have come from instagram, some have found me on whatsapp groups.

Facebook interest based groups, flat and flatmate groups didn't help me at all. Not because people don't frequent these groups anymore - they do. It's because most groups on facebook have moderators or admins. Admins tend to log in infrequently and approve many posts at a time. All my posts have gotten lost in an avalanche of promotions.

Instagram stories helped me increase traffic to this site. Reels worked well too. I posted 3 reels in all and got 2 new orders each time within 30 mins of posting them.

Why did I turn the store off?

 

I started a new full time position and I want to give it all the time and energy I have until I find a rhythm.
 

Would I do this again?


Yes 100%. Over the last year, apart from stickers, I was able to orders for custom illustrations and baked goods.

 

Jan 2023 update: Here's what I'm working on now: https://cookie-cutter.mini.store

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