While I can’t help but love the experience of high street shopping – oh, Meadowhall, you metropolis of purchasable wonder – now I’m working full time, internet shopping is just so much more convenient. In fact, the United Kingdom is apparently leading the trend for e-commerce, with over 13.5% of British purchases made over the internet.
With so much shopping done online, it seems sensible to tap into that market, right? While there are the usual methods such as starting your own website or, for arts, crafts, and vintage, websites such as Folksy and Etsy, I recently came across e-commerce website Shopify, which is currently running a competition that could win four lucky participants a $50,000 investment.
The premise of the competition is remarkably simple. To get started, all you have to do is to think of a product and, well – sell it on Shopify.
Develop your product, set up an account, and choose a mentor; each mentor has a particular product specialisation, allowing each Shopify owner in their group to receive tailored community and expert support. Choose from Tina Roth Eisenberg, for design, art, and home; Daymond John, for fashion and apparel; Tim Feriss, for electronics and gadgets; and, finally, Eric Ries, who
covers everything else.
Each mentor is an experienced investor, entrepreneur, and supporter of start-up businesses, which guarantees superb advice for those that get on board. Once you’re set up and have chosen your mentor, the only thing to do is develop and work on your business – the four shop owners that make the most cash in the two month period following their opening will each win a staggering $50,000 investment from their mentor.
Previous winners have gone on to serious successes, with 2010 victors DODOcase now running a multi-million dollar company.
Not too shabby, eh?
Not only that, but entering the competition alone earns you a 12-month, free CO. domain, and $100 of Google AdWords and MailChimp credits. As mentor Tim Feriss says, ’even going through the process of attempting [the contest] could change your life, whether you win or not.’
Certainly, it’s a great opportunity to get started selling online, and the potential grand prize could provide the inspiration that’s needed to really work hard on your fledgling business. However, although there is a 30-day free trial, following this period you are required to choose from one of the Shopify monthly plans, which start at £19 a month and run up to a £115/ month unlimited account.
If you’re confident about your product, though, and such prices aren’t too much of an issue, then the Shopify platform could be for you. It is championed for its easy to use, in depth features and potential for full customisation, which allows you to create a highly professional and personal shop front and website.
Check out these examples of UK Shopify stores for a bit of inspiration. They truly are beautiful, and show that the sky is the limit when it comes to customisation and the individualisation of your brand.
Does all of this sound good? The competition is open to the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand, started on July the 10th and will run until the end of this year – this means that you need to sign up before October to fully participate. Have a look at more information on how to enter , and take a peep at this inspirational, motivational video while you’re at it.