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What am I doing Wrong?

  • DragonflyDew

Happy Monday everyone!

I have a question I've been pondering awhile, and maybe you swappers can help me out. I have been on Poppy Swap for almost a year now, and have had a total of 1 sale worth $6.00. I love Poppy Swap and its members, but I keep asking myself "What am I doing wrong?" I participate a lot in the forums, tweet, fb, blog about and otherwise promote Poppy Swap as much as I can, price my products fairly and try to put very descriptive blurbs about each product in my shop. Each January I evaluate all my business's practices to see what I can do better. Some of the questions I am coming up with are:

Are my products not "herbal" enough for Poppy Swap? Most of my products are body and skincare, not tinctures, teas or medicines.

Are my product pictures not clear enough?

Is Poppy Swap the right place for my products? I'm not an herbalist like many of the rest of you who practice it for a living.

What percentage of shops on Poppy Swap are actually getting any sales? I know that a few of the well known herbalists get lots of sales here, but what about the rest of you? Kiki or Kristie can you tell me a percentage of shops with sales, that would be wonderful.

I would really like to hear some of your answers! And please, please know that I'm not complaining or whining, just trying to make my products and store better fit into this wonderful shopping community. I do have sales off my own website as well as from friends, family and word of mouth so I know my products are wonderful,  I just don't know if they are what people are looking for here.

Thank you so much for any feedback you can give me!

Kathy

For gardens and gardeners, nature lovers and earth sustainers ~ http://www.gardeningfornature.com
Dragonfly Dew at Poppy Swap ~ http://www.poppyswap.com/shop/DragonflyDew

Replies to this topic

Hi Kathy~

Thanks for taking the time to post your questions. Kiki will jump in with some statistics at some point but I would love to cover a few things here with you!

First off, you are doing NOTHING wrong! Your spirit and support is so loving and generous. What could be wrong with that? And as far as your store and such, let’s look at a few things here briefly:

Number of products: Most stores that do well here on Poppy Swap or even in marketplaces such as Etsy have more than 1 page of products. Currently you have 11 products listed, less than a page full. I would recommend adding more of your beautiful creations to offer more of selection.

Goals: Have you set any goals for yourself in regards to your online Poppy Swap store? Do you have your own mini-personal marketing plan you are following? If so, how is that going? If not…why not?!

Online Efforts: How would you rate your online and social media efforts and presence? Have you set a schedule or created goals for yourself around creating relevant blogs and social media posts that point people back to your Poppy Swap store? How much energy are you putting in to sending people to your Poppy Swap store? To successfully sell online it truly takes an integrated marketing approach.

As mentioned before, the sellers that are thriving on Poppy Swap lead the way with Facebook posts, tweets, blog posts for us to repost such as recipes, insights into the ‘day and the life’, ‘how-to’s’. All of those tend to be pretty relevant in some way to pointing people back to their Poppy Swap store.  How is that going for you?

Promotions: have you offered any sales/promotions on your products here on Poppy Swap? Promoted those sales through your communication channels (online, offline, etc)? Free shipping, 10% off? These often offer a great incentive for people to try a new product.

Are your creative juices flowing yet?!! 

Type and selection of products: I believe that skin care products are a very popular item here on Poppy Swap. In my opinion, it is the type of product that many different people can ‘understand’ versus needing some type of knowledge to know what an elder berry tincture is helpful for. It seems you have a few different types of lip balms available, a couple of creams, salves, and perfume. What a wonderful variety! Imagine having 3-5 of each available for sale? Quite the selection that would be!

Other: Your shipping prices look great. Your product descriptions are easy to understand. Your pictures could be improved but I certainly don’t think they are preventing sales. I would recommend lightening up your photos when you have a chance. Maybe a re-shoot at some point? I like how you show the product ‘in process’ for your butters so people can see what the ‘inside’ looks like.  Always helpful for online shopping.

 

And lastly…You may not call yourself an herbalist…but heck, neither do I! I do know that you LOVE plants. You have a deep reverence for this earth. You care deeply about the intention and development of your products. That is EXACTLY what this community is all about.  We each bring our own unique gifts. Our own style.  It is what makes Poppy Swap so awesome!

 

I hope some of this is supportive to you, Kathy. If there is any additional support I can offer, please let me know.

Xo

Kristie

*¨)
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸*´¨( Kristie {Spirit Horse Herbals} PoppySwappin' @ http://www.poppyswap.com/shop/SpiritHorseHerbals
  • admin
  • kiki

Hi Kathy!

Thanks so much for hopping on the forum with your question. I would agree with everything that Kristie has mentioned. When reviewing our "top sellers" on the site, they are all herbalists who have spent a lot of time cultivating their herbal businesses and have the interest and support of an audience who is familiar with their products. Here's what I see in their work that I feel makes them successful:

-They are herbalists who LOVE herbs. They are deeply engaged in their work and it shows. They are radiating their passion and it inspires people. It is also infused in what they are making and adds a deeply, personal and universally relevant impact on  their product line.

-They also tend to have "niches" of service and specialties that they provide and are absolutely consistent in their message, language and marketing. Whether its, chai, chocolate, tea, teachings, herbal collections or tummy tamers its what they are all about. They are clear about what they do and they do it very, very well.

-They have social media presence. They are looped in and loving it on fb/twitter/blogs/newsletters etc. and they are consistent. 

-They are involved in the herbal community. They are touring, teaching, sharing, exploring and leading the way in the community. 

-They are simply being themselves......with an herb business. 

So Kathy, from what I know about you and your genuine interests, your cultivated online community and your deepest passion. It seems to me that you could be engaging a different niche than most of the businesses I have talked about.

-Are you exposing your products to your gardening community?

-Are you helping your potential customers make the link between what they love about their garden and your products? Helping them to understand that their garden is IN your products ;)

-Are you educating them about WHY your products are important and how they compare to the average lip balm in the drugstore? 

Your store looks great. I love the new banner and your labels look professional, clean and consistent. I know that you are putting out excellent quality because I have had the honor of sampling your products. You can be successful at this Kathy!! Find YOUR audience, choose your focus (that which is closest to your heart) and just be yourself. 

We will support you any way we can!! 

xo

Kiki
~bring people herbs~
poppyswap.com
  • anchasta
  • anchasta

Great advice, ladies!

I have had no sales here; but neither had I made much of an effort.  My own website was drawing my attention from marketplaces like this, although I'm quite fond of the feel and mode of communication here on Poppyswap.

I was also uncertain whether I should sell my honey only on my own website and keep it an exclusive thing...but I feel like maybe that was an error.  I am now starting to list my herb infused honey here, because I love the audience and feel like I can get more into the nitty gritty than I can for the average customer. 

I feel like folks coming here to shop are already familiar with herbs and various preparations of them, and they are looking for details about the product, and just as much about the herbalist creating the product. 

Dragonfly Dew, I feel like you have good branding, clean labels, good descriptions, and as this site is new and growing, you have a good potential to sell well here!  Your "about us" is personal without being TMI and altogether, I think you should maybe just hold tight here on Poppyswap and promote your little fingers off!  Do you blog? Do you have a FB fan page? 

<3

Amber

Head Pixie of Pixies Pocket: Honey & Electuaries:
http://www.pixiespocket.com
http://www.anchasta.etsy.com
  • greenjourney
  • greenjourney

Kathy,

We have a mutual love of gardening that gives me a feeling of kinship with you. I admire you and your work and greatly enjoy your honest contributions to this forum. I personally trust that your products are all you say they are, and I want to try your Lavender face cream.

I have to admit I have little experience shopping online. Poppy Swap is changing this for me, building my confidence. And I have been thinking of your face cream as a luxury, putting off buying it. However, my exposure to sun and cold working up a new, sunnier garden spot recently has convinced me that I need a remedy. (and Kiki recommends it sooo it must be good!)

You raised some very pertinent questions, and I can tell you that your sales have been better than mine! I've only been on 6 months, and my product (seeds) sales are more seasonal, so I've been using this time to get my site ready for spring sales. There may be a seasonal aspect to your business, also?

The December survey revealed that we have a need to bring more traffic to the site, and I'm glad we have Kiki and Kristie working on that. I think you have done really well, and so I would encourage you to ask yourself "What have I done right?" & "What more can I do?"

I humbly suggest if you give it more time, Poppy Swap will gain popularity, we will build more trust amongst us and find ways to promote each other. You have the advantage of being able to use social media sites to get the word out, which I do not have. But because you asked so nicely, "pretty please" we've all been invited to hop on the Poppy Swap Facebook page. I appreciate that and can see the benefit for all of us.

Kristie's blog on lavender products this week is one excellent example of mutual support.

Maybe you could put off your annual evalution for another year, call it a biennial? Like Evening Primrose seed is sown one year and flowers the next, then scatters its seeds for the future? If I rip it out at the end of the first year, I may never know the sweet fragrance and slow motion unfurling of its flowers?

Thanks for sharing your concerns and asking the tough questions, here, Kathy. Hope this helps you & you'll want to stay with us?

Love,

Aline

 

 

 

Aline Crehore, Green Journey Seeds
In Plants We Trust
http://www.poppyswap.com/shop/greenjourneyseeds
  • DragonflyDew
  • DragonflyDew

Thank you everyone for your honest feedback, comments and suggestions! I have taken each one to heart, and have tried to improve on some of the areas already. I now have 18 items for sale, and as soon as I can take more pictures I will have more products listings. I'm also trying to add more gardening/herbal tidbits onto my fb page instead of just product related information. I did already have a facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/DragonflyDew and a twitter page - http://www.twitter.com/dragonflydew and try to put something up every couple of days but will hopefully change that to everyday. I also have several different blogs and write on a national wildlife garden website but in general I try to keep the gardening blogs separate from my product website - http://www.dragonflydew.com.

As Kristie and Kiki have pointed out I LOVE Mother Nature and her gifts. My gardening followers haven't really bought into the need for personal care products but I'm trying to come up with some new thoughts on how to change that. As you may tell from my gardening business names of "All Things in Nature" and "Gardening for Nature" I truly believe that nature can show us so many things, I just need to be better at relating that to my products. 

As far as sales and promotions on PoppySwap I have done a few but they didn't result in any sales. I think the site is still in its infancy, and as a gardener I believe in watching and waiting for seeds to grow into fabulous plants. My yearly reflections are always part of my business goal planning, so this conversation was part of that yearly planning session. You are all wonderful in your support and that's why I love Poppy Swap so much. I've had 2 more sales since I first posted this discussion - 1 from Aline and I thank you very much for that!

I thank you again from my heart and will try to remain positive and patient!

Kathy

  • smlowry
  • smlowry

I've been meaning to comment on this topic for a while. While I have had a few sales on Poppy Swap, most of them were to folks I already know who live far enough away that anything would have to be mailed. I think one of the main issues is getting more traffic onto the website. I'm not very internet marketing savy and would much rather spend time outside in the garden or writing than figuring out marketing. I gave up on etsy because I sold nothing and have no idea how to compete with all the other folks selling creams and salves. Poppy Swap is a better site for me because everyone is committed to using the best, all-natural ingredients. No way can I compete with someone selling an "all natural" cream for less than $10.00. That said, my prices are quite low and sometimes I wonder if they are too low so people don't think the creams are all that good? But my products sell very well locally and people around here don't have a lot of money so if I raised my prices substantially I would outprice myself here. And I don't think it's fair to sell something here for $12.00 and price it at $25.00 online. Still, I have not yet factored in $ for my time, just the actual cost of ingredients, jar, label. Nor do I factor in the time I spend gardening the herbs/flowers that I use, or wild harvesting. I'd be doing it anyway, even if GGH didn't exist. At some point in the next 2-3 years I plan to quit my "day job" and hopefully by that time GGH will be doing well enough that it will make up for the loss of salary - I only work 2 days a week so that's not asking too much. I have recently started a blog and I am also on FB and GGH has a FB page too. But if it doesn't get shared around, then what can I do? I don't have hundreds of "friends" because I'm not on FB for the promotion, but rather for the connection to family, friends, and other herbalists and Earth lovers. So for now I'm focusing on my local market, and later this month another store will be adding my products to their health & beauty aid section. So that will be 3 health food stores and also a few other smaller outlets that just feature 3 or 4 products, not the whole line. On the other hand, the only place my tinctures are offered for sale is Poppy Swap, and from me personally of course. Honestly I was relieved to learn that others have the same concerns I do re: selling online so I don't feel so alone and inept. It's not just me! So I'll be checking back here every once in a while and keep my fingers crossed that  things pick up. I, too, have been running a promotion that goes until the end of April and not one sale from it.

Susan

Hi everyone~

If you haven't yet, I encourage you to download our free ebook where we offer up 36 pages of advice for successfully selling online!

 

http://community.poppyswap.com/6624/our-first-e-book/

 

Enjoy!

Kristie

  • greenjourney
  • greenjourney

Just a quick note here to say that Dragonfly Dew's face cream works great for me! It cleared up my sun/wind burn in the first week, and I've continued to use it several nights a week to keep my skin moisture balanced. I use a small amount, and one 1 oz. jar lasts 2-3 months! I like Kathy's feedback; "I'm happy your face loves my cream!"

I'm buying another jar for summer, and also the Grapefruit moisture bar. Thanks so much, Kathy!

Peace is growing,

Aline

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