Tech layoffs have hit hard. Starting in 2022, major brands including Spotify, Google and Microsoft have been laying off tens of thousands of workers. In the wake of the already tumultuous Covid-19 pandemic and rising inflation, many Americans have been thrust into a state of panic concerning their current and future employment.
The good news is, there are low-risk ways to start your own e-commerce company. For example, in 2021, more than 100,000 new American brands joined Amazon. Amazon’s U.S. selling partners have sold over 3.9 billion products – that equals 7,500 items every minute – and averaged about $200,000 in sales per seller.
“Today, Amazon is a preferred partner for nearly two million selling partners worldwide – most of which are small and medium-sized businesses,” says Claire O’Donnell, director of selling partner empowerment, communities and trust at Amazon. “Our selling partners are incredibly important to us, and we work hard to provide them with effective resources to run and launch successful businesses. We offer a robust suite of tools and services, lending programs, and free educational services like Amazon Small Business Academy and Amazon Seller University to make sure it’s easy for anyone to start selling in Amazon’s store and connect with a global customer base.”
Shan Shan Fu is the founder of Millennials In Motion, an e-commerce brand that sells products on Amazon, Walmart, Shopify, Etsy and Poshmark. She also serves as head of business development at Trivium, an award-winning Amazon advertising and management agency.
Here are Fu’s top 10 tips for starting an e-commerce company with her low-risk, low-investment method:
1. Look for products that have high demand and low competition. Using tools such as Helium 10’s Magnet, you can discover which keywords are being searched on Amazon. Look for products with at least 5,000 monthly searches and less than 1,000 competitors.
2. Create barriers to entry to avoid your product getting copied. Avoid “commodity products,” which are products that anyone can sell. Make your product unique with better features, better design, and/or better functionality. Patent your product, if possible. Work within a particular niche and expand from there.
3. Start with small and light products if you are low in initial cash investment. These products will cost less to ship and less to store than big, heavy, bulky products.
4. If you are on a tight budget, use your smartphone to take picturesand harness apps like GIMP and Canva to edit them. GIMP (similar to Adobe Photoshop) is a free app that allows you to cut out your product and paste it on a white background. Canva is a drag and drop website where you can create beautiful, poster-like images for your product listing pages.
5. Sell your own clothes and belongings on Poshmark in order to get the hang of e-commerce. Honing your skills by selling some of your own goods on Poshmark first will teach you about writing product descriptions, shipping and fulfillment, and customer preferences.
6. Launch on Etsy to test products before expanding your business. For Etsy, you don’t even need a barcode; only images and a product description are required. By testing first, you can save on the cost of launching. The bottom 80 percent of products will not survive.
7. Target your demographic with PickFu. PickFu.com allows you to ask your target demographic if they like your products for only $1 per response. Use it to test photos and product ideas so you don’t waste time or money on a bad product launch.
8. Once you have figured out the top 20 percent winners on Etsy and PickFu, then launch the product on Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service. It’s important to launch on Amazon using FBA because this will get you the “Prime” badge, which can significantly increase your sales. Plus, you will no longer have to deal with customer service or order fulfillment, as Amazon will handle it all for you.
9. Invest in Amazon advertising. The pay-per-click platform is a low-cost way to generate sales and increase your organic ranking.
10. Later, you can launch products on Shopify to build your brand and catch sales from influencers. The Shopify app called Shogun allows you to create easy drag-and-drop brand websites. Divert influencer traffic here because Shopify has the lowest fees.
Tracy Sun is the cofounder and SVP of seller experience for Poshmark. She has this to say about Shan Shan Fu. “Our community and their triumphs are the heart of Poshmark and Shan Shan Fu is truly a reflection of that. Her ability to grow her side hustle into a thriving full-time reselling career serves as inspiration to many. Her journey is a testament to the entrepreneurial freedom found through reselling. We are so proud she is a member of the Poshmark community.”
Fu’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from China in the 1990s. Although her father was trained as an engineer and her mother as a doctor, they were not able to pursue their professional careers once they arrived in America due to their degrees not being honored. They had to start from scratch. After working in grocery stores for a long time, Fu’s father decided to move to Mexico and start an import/export business. He met with great success. Since then, Fu felt called to follow in his entrepreneurial footsteps.
The greatest challenges of running her own e-commerce business, Fu says, are lack of stability and uncertainty. Also, for women’s clothing, a return rate of 20 to 30 percent is not uncommon. This can eat into your profit margins. You may face cash flow problems when you have to pay for inventory and advertising upfront, even though you may not sell the products until months later. That is why Fu recommends her “low-risk, low investment method.”
That said, Fu loves what she does and, she remarks, when you love what you do, it’s like doubling your lifespan. “Now, instead of enjoying just time after work and on weekends, you enjoy time during work,” she explains.
To people looking to tap into their life purpose by starting their own e-commerce companies, Fu offers this advice. “Self-reflection is the first step. Assess and rank your primary joys and drivers for happiness. When you understand what makes you happy, get ready to overcome your fear of failure, procrastination, and lack of progress by embracing the idea of being uncomfortable. When you are uncomfortable, that means you are successfully pushing yourself forward.”
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a popular cloud computing platform that offers a wide range of services to individuals and businesses alike. One of the services offered by AWS is Amazon Lightsail, which is a simplified and user-friendly way to launch and manage virtual private servers (VPS). In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using Amazon Lightsail for your business.
One of the primary advantages of using Amazon Lightsail is its cost-effectiveness. The service offers a flat monthly fee for each instance, which makes it easy to predict costs and plan for your budget. Moreover, the pricing is transparent, with no hidden costs or surprises.
Amazon Lightsail is designed to be user-friendly, making it easy for even non-technical users to deploy and manage virtual private servers. The platform provides a simplified control panel that includes pre-configured software packages, such as WordPress, LAMP, and more. These packages are preconfigured, making it easy to deploy and set up a web application in minutes.
Amazon Lightsail is designed to be scalable, which means you can easily upgrade your resources as your business grows. The platform provides a range of instance sizes to choose from, with varying CPU, RAM, and storage options. You can also scale up or down as needed, making it easy to manage your resources and costs.
Amazon Lightsail is built on top of the AWS infrastructure, which means it benefits from AWS’s robust and reliable cloud infrastructure. This ensures that your applications and data are always available and accessible, with minimal downtime.
Amazon Lightsail provides a secure and reliable environment for your applications and data. The platform includes a range of security features, such as built-in firewalls, DDoS protection, and SSL/TLS encryption. Moreover, Lightsail instances are isolated from each other, which provides an additional layer of security.
Integrated with AWS services
Amazon Lightsail is fully integrated with other AWS services, making it easy to use Lightsail with other AWS services such as Amazon S3, Amazon RDS, and more. This integration provides a comprehensive cloud computing platform, enabling you to build and run complex applications.
Quick and easy deployment
Amazon Lightsail provides a quick and easy way to deploy web applications, with pre-configured templates for popular applications such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and more. This makes it easy to deploy a web application in just a few clicks, without the need for technical knowledge.
Amazon Lightsail instances are built on top of the latest generation of AWS infrastructure, providing high-performance and low-latency connectivity. This ensures that your applications and data are always accessible and responsive, with fast and efficient data transfer.
Easy to manage
Amazon Lightsail provides a simplified management interface, making it easy to manage your virtual private servers. The platform includes tools for monitoring your instances, configuring backups, managing DNS records, and more. Moreover, the platform provides a range of APIs and CLI tools, making it easy to automate management tasks.
Amazon Lightsail is flexible, allowing you to choose the operating system and software stack that best suits your needs. The platform supports a range of operating systems, including Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, and more. Moreover, you can install and configure any software stack that you need, giving you complete control over your environment.
In conclusion, Amazon Lightsail is a cost-effective, user-friendly, scalable, reliable, secure, integrated, quick, high-performance, easy-to-manage, and flexible platform for deploying and managing virtual private servers. If you’re looking for a simplified and efficient way to manage your cloud computing resources, Amazon Lightsail is definitely worth considering.
The release of the decentralized storage system’s white paper was having a modest effect on the price of other storage tokens on Wednesday. Filecoin (FIL), storj (STORJ), and arweave (AR) are now trading 2%, 5% and 6%, respectively, above their pre-announcement prices.
Over the course of four seasons, and soon a fifth installment, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has managed to one-up themselves and make the scale bigger, the set pieces more extravagant and the monologues snappier. While all of this has been amazing for us viewers, one-upping yourself every time must be quite stressful, and it has been according to Rachel Brosnahan. However, she also came up with an adorable way to de-stress and help the cast and crew by hiring therapy pigs. This also goes to show just how delightful the set of this Prime Video show seems, even during stressful moments.
Filming Season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which went on to win many Emmys in 2019, the cast and crew had taken on a much bigger challenge than they did in Season 1. By traveling around the world, and upping the ante overall the stress levels were high. However, Rachel Brosnahan revealed that she had a “delightful” stress relief activity planned involving therapy pigs, truly showing how wonderful this set seems. The actress behind Midge Maisel started her story about therapy pigs by setting the scene on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, saying:
It truly is incredible that she did that for the cast, and it looks like Brosnahan also had a fabulous time bonding with the little piglets on set, as she posted this adorable photo on Instagram a few years ago:
The Emmy-winning actress continued her story about bringing the therapy pigs to the 1950s set, noting that everyone in the crew, even the gruff and tough guys enjoyed their time with the small animals.
This story warms my heart, and it confirms something I already thought was true: working on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel seems like a delightful time.
Luckily, all the cast and crew’s hard work paid off big time, as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has remained one of Amazon Prime’s best original shows for years now. Hopefully, with the fifth and final season of Maisel on the way, we’ll get more outstanding comedy and wholesome stories from the set.
I’d say that based on Brosnahan’s sweet message she penned as the show wrapped its final season, we’re in for even more wholesome stories as Season 5 makes its way to us, hopefully on the 2023 TV schedule. However, while we wait for a premiere date for the final installment, you can watch the first four seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (and make sure to take note of just how much they accomplished in Season 2) with an Amazon Prime subscription.