Back in 2005, on one summer night, we were sitting outside making a decision of what business to start up online. We knew we needed a website but didn’t know a thing about internet or building a website. Not letting any of that be a road block in our business adventure, we chose to start making up gift baskets, since Kim is very talented in designs and crafts such as floral, decorations and crafts in that nature. So we chose Kims Gift Baskets and the url http://www.kimsgiftbaskets.com. We wrote our story back 2 years ago in regards to the gift basket business. Staring in mid 2006, we discussed of other possibilities and products we could introduce into our gift basket business. Don’t get me wrong, we were actually doing pretty good with gift baskets, the business bills were being paid, plus paying us. We had several ideas which were in the gifting market such as gold dipped roses, cookie bouquets, baby shower accessories and favors, wedding accessories and favors and even fruit bouquets to name a few. We kept going back to the idea in the wedding and baby accessories as a good choice of product. The baby and wedding ideas really sparked for a couple of different reasons, one of the main reasons was, we have been involved with coordinating weddings and baby shower events in the local area even before the gift basket business started, we truly loved doing this together, a great team I must say. Now the other one is a business strategy that anybody who is thinking about selling products should think about if they are going to do a business online, especially with the way the economy is, we wanted to have multiple streams of products. This will give you a chance to reach to a broader range of consumers and in return, more orders.
As we said, we were entertaining the thought of more than just gift baskets and gifts, so we decided to start with baby shower favors and gifts. We found a company called Baby Aspen and signed up with them, soon after, we were introducing baby gifts and baby shower favors to the Kims Gift Baskets. This was an easy choice for us; our web site was already being searched in baby phrases so that seemed to blend right in. With the baby gifts and baby favors, they just added more depth in search terms and the website. We found a couple more companies which we also set up accounts with giving the consumers more styles and choices. Over the course of a month or so, we worked very hard on the website with adding in baby products, changing site design and working SEO.
Now if you remember, we entertained ideas adding wedding accessories or something that was wedding related. We found out shortly after becoming a vendor for Baby Aspen, there was Kate Aspen which distributes wedding and bridal shower favors. Now it was a scramble, in less than a months span, we introduced the wedding and bridal party favors into our business along with baby shower favors and baby gifts. Of course, it’s not as easy as just put the products on your website and presto, you have customers. I wish it was that easy! Many hours spent were spent working on the content, SEO, linking and more content to get the search engines to start ranking us in keywords for wedding phrases. We set up accounts with a few more dropship companies; Fashioncraft and Event Blossoms for the wedding and bridal favors, and couple of other companies who had favors but didn’t like their services, so soon after, we took everything off our website of theirs. When using drop shippers, whether for your wedding business, baby business, or any type of business you are going to sell products, there are pros and cons using their services, but if they’re a good company, you’ll have no worries. Fashioncraft who is mainly favors for a variety of occasions, is very reliable and consistent with getting the orders out to your customers. We have been doing business with them for over a year now and have never had any issues with their products or services.
As discussed, we still wanted to provide bridal and wedding accessories for all of the lucky brides who are planning their wedding. Weddings, typically is a once in a lifetime event and everything has to be perfect, including the bride! We began our searches for distributors who dropped shipped wedding and bridal accessories and found Lillian Rose, Jamie Lynn, which came a few months later, and of course Beverly Clark. I don’t think there’s a bride, a future bride or a woman in general that hasn’t heard of her line of wedding collections and bridal accessories. There are other distributors which we also use, this gives us a large variety for the customers to chose from.
We do however, carry stock of baby shower favors, baby gifts, bridal accessories and wedding favors to avoid some of the worries of when orders will be shipped to our customers. By doing so, we have more control on providing excellent services to our customer and knowing that their order is shipped and delivered in a quick timely manner.
As we are now introducing wedding accessories, bridal favors, and bridal accessories, we know there’swas much work to be done. Not only putting them on the website and setting up pages, there’s SEO, Yikes……..again that awful word.
But as we have learned, there’s more to just SEO, you must have traffic, without traffic you have no sales. With the internet vastly changing, social marketing, videos, links, advertising and several other avenues to get your product out there for potential customers and to gain more visibility. You must reach out and utilize these social networking gateways to help you get you name and product to the public. Facebook, Twitter, Blogging of course are a few options , but remember, you have to get involved.