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【職業心得】由衣著品味變成事業 客服文員由網上店到門市

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  • 你腦中有上佳的商業概念,但不知如何做起?
  • 你想為現有的生意開拓網上銷售渠道,卻不知從何入手?

[/list] 在尖沙咀旺區經營衣飾樓上舖的Joan過往也遇到以上問題,但她憑著敏銳的觸覺、創意及技能,由工餘時間試辦的網上商店開始,在兩年間發展成今天的全職門市生意,我們天行凝方有幸邀得Joan為我們分享她成功背後的心得

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  • You have a nice business concept in your mind, but you are clueless on its startup?
  • You want to extend your business channel, but you have no idea how to get involved?

[/list] Joan, founder of the upstair store “Ethnic St.” encountered the above problems in her business start-up, however with market sense, creativity and skills, she was manage to change the business from part-time online store to today’s full-time retail business.  We, Form.Welkin is happy to have a short interview with Joan to share with us her successful story

香港大部份打工仔一般都為了配合工作場所的要求及文化,往往會在衣著打扮上選擇黑、白、灰,甚至深藍這些穩陣卻沉悶的顏色,本身從事客戶服務文員的Joan卻不然,會在日常衣著上搭配一些具民族特色的單品,如印度衣服、圍巾、泰國手工飾物等,為平凡的生活添上色彩,點綴出不凡的個人品味。兩年前,她有見網上對民族衣飾的同好甚多,市面卻沒有太多選擇,故開始利用工餘時間,將一些精選的產品放上網出售。 「最初因為喜歡這些民族衣飾,花很多時間在網上搜尋,然後試著將一至兩件小飾物放上「Yahoo!拍賣」,想不到逐漸成為一份part-time收入。」

Joan耐心地分享她創業的契機

社交媒體 造就樓上舖

2012的上半年,Joan在「Yahoo!拍賣」的生意逐漸增長,儲了一班熟客,但在下半年,銷售明顯下降,她發現港人的網絡購物模式改變了,例如漸漸懂得在「淘寶網」買便宜貨,而且她一直認為「Yahoo!拍賣」介面操作困難及諸多限制,造成種種交易障礙,加上潛伏著不少不認真的用戶,破壞其營商生態環境,而Yahoo!卻一直沒有正視這些問題,反而暗地裡加價。 「這時我因應一位熟客的提議建立了Facebook專頁,最初只是用來分享一下少量的產品照片,也一直以為Facebook是用來『八卦』或者玩遊戲的網站,沒料到我發現在偶爾跟客人打招呼,和回答一下產品問題,人流竟然由『Yahoo!拍賣』轉來了Facebook,而發展到今日,Facebook竟成為了這門生意的命脈。」 Joan發現港人漸漸接受通過Facebook作出購買決定,那是因為它完全為社交而設的功能,助經營者做到有效的傳播,如果要主動宣傳,更可購買各種廣告活動。過去使用「Yahoo!拍賣」,Yahoo!為了確保能在每筆交易中賺取買家的刊登費用,限制了各種社交功能,賣家只可以等待客戶的關鍵字搜尋,就算使用付費廣告也只是顯示在拍賣網首頁或者將搜尋結果置頂。相比之下,Facebook的營銷效果更顯著和理想。

「民族街」的Facebook專頁已累積超過4,000個Like

2013年,Joan決定走出網上商店的框架,辭去文職工作,在尖沙咀Solo Building一樓開設店舖全職經營。店面大概100呎左右,放滿了各種民族衣飾及擺設,客人甚至能嗅到店內獨特的香味,那是Joan親自往印度採購的薰香。

獨特的薰香在店外也可以聞到
精心的擺設吸引著客人的眼球
各地精選民族服飾盡顯華麗風格
色彩繽紛的民族掛飾令日常衣裝不再平凡

有趣的是,Joan跟Solo Building中的一些樓上舖的店主甚為熟絡,而這些樓上舖舖包括美甲、時裝、美容用品及歐洲水貨等,竟然都跟Joan一樣由網上商店做起,現在依靠Facebook宣傳。 「樓上舖的租金較相宜,受實體經濟所影響,地舖貴得不合理,這裡(的樓上舖位)每個月大概$7,000-$8,000左右,但你如何把客人拉上來?除了提供特色產品及服務,或薄利多銷這類經營策略外,我們必須花$2000-$4000購買Facebook廣告。」 Joan會大概每季做一次折扣優惠活動,她說:「每次都要有點創意,找一些藉口然後購買適當的Facebook廣告配合,例如節日或者我出國採購前的折扣優惠,熟客受落之餘亦能吸引到更多新客,這樣廣告費也算花得值。」

裝備技能  發揮創意

Joan亦非常明白即使有創意,也必須學會使用各種工具,例如她除了Facebook專頁外,也運用一個網上內容管理系統建立了「民族街」的官方網站。 「網站令客人知道這是一間實在的店舖,二來很多詳細的產品相關資訊,例如較長篇的羊毛製品簡介,就不太適合用Facebook發佈。」此外網站亦支援Paypal網上付款系統,方便客人在網上完成購買程序。對此,Joan笑說她有時實在無法想像客人會喜歡用哪種方法購物,例如有客人喜歡直接上來店裡買東西,但也有些較害羞的會使用Whatsapp及網站填表查詢,也有一些在網上買了很多次但你從沒見過他真人,她說:「甚麼人都有,總之要提供所有途徑去方便客人;將心比己,如果買一件$299的衣服要經過上網、登記、登入、入會、填表等繁複的過程,你會感覺被耍了那樣,寧可不買算了。」

「民族街」網站具有購物車系統,客人可通過Paypal直接付款

提到網站內容,Joan認為相片至關重要:「客人比較接受實拍的照片,最初沒有人告訴我應該要怎樣拍,反覆嘗試就能找到要領。」Joan亦指出她曾嘗試使用較專業的器材但卻不會用,所以採用了較直接的「傻瓜機(方便的數碼相機)」,所以相片質素或有參差,例如太暗,她會用Photoshop調光一點。 Joan曾經在天行凝方就讀過Photoshop課程,故所有照片處理及一些宣傳圖像都是她一手一腳去做,她又表示:「現在智能手機雖然提供很多照片處理Apps,例如Line Camera、Instragram等我也有用,但要處理大量照片,或者要設計廣告圖像的話,非Photoshop不可。」

電梯等候位置附近的圖像由Joan親自設計的
更多由Joan設計的海報

慷慨分享 創業心得

在這短短1.5小時的訪問中,已有兩位客人踏入「民族街」購物,而Joan的手機亦不斷響起短訊提示,可見她的生意已相當成功,對此,她毫不吝嗇地對準創業者分享了一些心得:「就算你有很多錢來做你的生意也好,都應該由online開始做起。」她指出經營網上生意的成本有限,可以靈活運用去測試市場反應。在網絡營銷方面,Joan認為:「無論是哪一個行業的經營者都必須有充分的資料搜集及分析,不論是貨源或客源,要明白網站猶如恒河沙數,客人為何要選擇看你的,否則你無論做甚麼網頁也好,沒有人看也是徒然。」

「民族街」詳細資料:

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更多「民族街」照片: 

               

網上商店+照片處理  一次學曉

Joan的創業故事及心得,見證了商業觸覺和創意需要正確及有效的技能才能得以實踐,包括Facebook專頁行銷、網上貿易平台、Paypal付款/收款,及Photoshop照片處理技巧等。

天行凝方創意培訓有見及此,特意開辦「網上商店與照片處理課程」,將最有效的前沿網上營銷技能整合,包括教授以WordPress內容管理系統無痛建立網上商貿平台,使用Facebook及Google Adwords等工具作有效的宣傳及分析,並使用Photoshop處理照片及設計宣傳圖像,一次過裝備好所需技能,讓你的網上商店馬上起飛。

網上商店與照片處理課程

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  • 內容 :無痛建立及管理網上商貿平台 及 處理照片及設計圖像
  • 學費 :優惠期間只需 $3,280(原價$6,300)
  • 專頁 :http://formwelkin.com/e-photo-shop
  • 電話 :36053322 | 36053377

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按此了解「網上商店與照片處理課程」

刊登於

JobMarket 24-1-2014

剪報

Most wage earners in Hong Kong often choose to dress in cautious but dull color such as black, white, gray, and dark blue color to meet the requirements and culture in their workplace.  Joan, previously a Customer Service clerk, has a unique taste of fashion, she liked to add clothings and accessory with special ethnic characteristics onto her daily dressups, e.g. Indian tops and dresses, scarves, necklace and etc.  Joan spiced up her daily life with colors and extraordinary personal taste, and this enthusiasm lead her to the niche market of ethnic clothing in Hong Kong.  Therefore, She started selling a small amount of accessories online. “In the very beginning I spend a lot of time searching for ethnic clothing online very I really liked them.  And then I placed 1-2 trinkets on “Yahoo! Auction”.  And surprisingly, it became a source of part-time income.”

Joan shared her entrepreneurship patiently

From Social Media to Upstair Store

In the first half of 2012, as Joan’s business on  “Yahoo! Auction business” grew stability enough for her build up her relationship with frequent customers.  However the sales went down in the second half of the year.  Joan realized that the online purchasing behavior had changed, for example, people may choose to buy cheap products from “TaoBao”.  The counterintuitive interface of “Yahoo! Auction” has a lot of restriction, which hindered the trades.  Furthermore, many negligent users lurked in “Yahoo! Bid”, which undermined the ecosystem.  Unfortunately, Yahoo! has not addressed these issues, and increased the publication fee secretly. “A frequent customer asked me to setup a Facebook Fanspage, and I did, to share some product photos.  My impression to Facebook wasn’t serious at all, I thought it’s for busybodies and gaming.  I did not realize through occasional fans greeting, and product issue responding, the pageview, or customers flew from “Yahoo! Auction” to Facebook.  Now, Facebook become the lifeblood of this business.” Joan found that Hong Kong people are gradually accepting shopping through Facebook, because Facebook’s social functions helped her to achieve effective communication, and in case she want to initiate aggressive promotion, she can buy advertising campaigns.  In the past, with “Yahoo! Auction”, Yahoo! limited the communication between buyers and sellers to ensure the publication income.  Seller could only passively wait for buyer’s keyword search, and the only aggressive way was to buy the paid ad for homepage or top of search result.  Comparatively, Facebook is more ideal and effective in carrying out marketing activities.

The Facebook fanpage of Ethnic St has accumulated over 4,000 likes

In 2013, Joan did not want to limit herself in the framework of online store.  She resigned her job, and set up a store in the first floor of Solo Building, Tsim Sha Tsui and begin to operate it in a full-time basis.   The store sized 100 feet or so, decorated with a variety of ethnic clothing and furnishings.  Guests can even smell a unique fragrance, it was because of the joss stick Joan bought from India.

You can smell the fragrance of Indian joss stick around the store
Featured furnishings attract the attention of guests
Ethnic costumes becomes a symbol of gorgeous style
Colourful ethnic ornaments spiced up everyday

Interestingly, Joan was conversational with some upstair shop owner in the Solo Building, she found that all these stores, include fashion, nail beauty and imported European brands, rely on Facebook on their marketing. “Affected by the real economy, the rent of ground store are unreasonably expensive.  Upstairs stores are more affordable, it costs around $ 7,000 – $ 8,000 per month.   But the problem is, other than strategies like providing specialty product or small profits, how do you take the guests upstairs?  The answer is to spend $2,000 – $4,000 on Facebook ads.” Joan will run a discount activity every quarter, she said, “I have to be creative every time, make an “excuse” for the discount theme, and buy a proper Facebook ad campaign.  “Excuses” like festivals,  or before I go out of town.   The ad fee is worthy when regular customers are happy to drop by and in the same time, the attention of new customers was gained.”

Equip the skills for your creativity

Joan understands that creativity required a variety of tools to carry out.  Besides  her Facebook fanspage, she also established the official homepage for Ethnic St. with an online content management system (CMS). “The Homepage let guests know that the store really exist.  It also act as a panel to provide detailed product information, e.g. wool products profile which contains plenty of words, which is not suitable to post on Facebook.” In addition, the website supports Paypal online payment system to facilitate online purchasing.  Joan giggled and said she can’t estimate every guests’ behavior.   Some may enjoy shopping directly from the store, some likes to text you through Whatsapp before that come, while some online buyers never show up, she said, “You have to do everything to help your guests.  Imagine if you are a customer, and you were asked to go through registration, login, membership rules and more complicated steps in order to buy a $299 dress, you will probably find it uninteresting, and you would rather not to buy.”

The Ethnic St. Homepage has a shopping cart system, which allow customer to purchase with Paypal

Joan believes that photo is most important in the web content, “Guests like photographs of “real items”.  It took me quite a lot of attempts to find the essentials of product photo shooting.” Joan has also pointed out that she once tried a DSLR but she was clueless on using it, that was why she now uses a small digital camera.  The photograph quality may varies, for example, when it appear to be too dim, she will adjust the brightness/contrast with Photoshop. Joan took Photoshop course in Form.Welkin before.  Therefore, all photo retouch and image ads are done by her.  She said, “There are many photo-processing apps for mobile nowadays, like Line Camera and Instagram, which I also find them useful, but you cannot do without Photoshop when you need to process large amount of photos, or when you have to design a nice image ad.”

Ad-image designed by Joan, which appear on the wall around the elevator corridor
Ad image designed by Joan

Tips for New Entrepreneurs

Within this 1.5 hours interview, the successful of Ethnic St can be observed by the visit of 2 customers and the frequent text ringtone from Joan’s mobile phone.   She generously shared some tips for new entrepreneurs, “You should start your business online even you have a lot of money to invest.”  She pointed out that the investment in online business is limited, which can be utilized to test the market out.  Regarding online marketing, Joan thinks, “No matter which industry you are participating in, you must carry out enough research and analysis on supply or the source of target customers.   You have to understand why guests choose to browse your website but not others, otherwise no matter how wonderful your website is, it will be a waste. ” Profile of Ethnic St.[list style=”orb” color=”black”]

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More photos from Ethnic St.: 

               

Learn E-Marketing & Photo Retouching

Through Joan’s case, we witness how proper skill is required to achieve business idea. Understanding the demand of equipping such skills, Form.Welkin provide “E-Marketing and Photo Retouching Course”, which teaches the establishment of online store with WordPress CMS, Social Marketing with Facebook, Business Analysis with Google Analytics and Photo Retouching with Adobe Photoshop.  We ensure you gain every skill you need for your online business start-up.

E-Marketing & Photo Retouching Course

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  • Objective: Establish and Manage online trade platform, photo processing and image design
  • Fee :Limited time offer $3,280 (Original Price: $6,300)
  • Main page: http://formwelkin.com/en/e-photo-shop
  • Phone no: 36053322 | 36053377

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Click here to know more about “E-Marketing & Photo Retouching Course”

Published on

JobMarket 24-1-2014

Newspaper Cut

January 13, 2014

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