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Get your AVON Business Online, a simple to follow how-to guide by me Mark Pammesberger, Avon Sales Leader. If you are stuck in the process, and need any help in bringing your website up, please feel free to contact me.
Start with Social Media
First of all I recommend that you set-up and start your own Social Media Accounts if you don’t already have them. Get a Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube account setup. This is what I would recommend to start with. Take the same name all over the place, like in my case it was mybeautyking. Try to have the same Twitter account name as your domain name is going to be. So if your domain is Tim-Sample.co.uk get a twitter account called Tim-Sample of if that is taken go for Tim-Sample.co.uk, this is the first point and you should not need more than a day to complete that.
Get Web Hosting and Domain
Now, that you have your social media accounts set up and running, get your web hosting and domain name. Find a domain name that is unique and reflects what you want to do. I choose MyBeautyKing because I’m a man selling Avon and I am a professional make-up artist. So find something unique to you. Web hosting does not need to be expansive, you can go with a well known hosting company and pay more or with a small one that is cheaper. I would recommend the Entry Hosting Package here that only costs £ 0.99 per month or if you want something with more power that also includes an intuitive CMS then this plan here is more for you that costs only £5.99 per month and includes the Divi Sitebuilder and the Divi License. This is what I personally use to build this website. The domain name is not included in the price but that is only another £10 to £20 for the whole year so not too expansive.
If you go with any other hosting company make sure to use a WordPress optimized hosting package, and do not take a ready-made e-commerce solution from 1&1 or GoDaddy, but this we will cover at a later point. Now that you have your web hosting and domain set up it is time to start building your website. I would suggest to start at the beginning, all you need really is a homepage, a contact form and the legal bits like privacy, terms and conditions, shipping page to get started the rest you can add later. Don’t do everything at once do it step by step. I would also recommend an about us section to tell the customer who you are.
What Online Store to use and why
Running your own online shop independent of Avon has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are clearly you are independent and if Avon is down you can keep selling. You can also run Google Ads, Facebook Ads promote one single product or your whole shop on Instagram while always linking back to your shop. That is something you can not do at the Avon Store. If you link to a product on the Avon Store and the customer clicks on it you will lose the sale.
The disadvantage is that you have to put work in. Each campaign update the offers, add and remove colors that are no longer on offer or become unavailable, or simply add the new products. But this will soon become a routine task when you are getting used to using your online shop. You can also set your own independent promotions at any time. TIPP: If you don’t want to update the prices all the time, no one says you have to have the same prices as Avon in their webstore, at the end you are an independent representative.
So now to the shop options there are several FREE Shop software options you can consider and I think wor well with Avon. Those listed below are free shop software programs you can install on any web hosting package.
Prestashop is well developed and works fine, as stand-alone website and pages, you do not need WordPress to have Prestashop. You can simply add a page in your Prestashop and add the content. There are several professional templates you can purchase that look great, for the start I would go for the free standard layout. The design you can change later at any time.
WooCommerce is a very nice piece of kit and there are a lot of free and paid extensions for it. WooCommerce integrates fully into your WordPress website and adapts the design you have. If you use DIVI there are a lot of ways to integrate a product, category, or the whole shop into a DIVI Layout and therefore make it look really like a one page fully themed experience. You can install woocommerce from your WordPress platform just go to Plugins in WordPress and type in woocommerce. It is personally my second choice, and very easy to handle.
ECWID is personally my favorite and this is what I have used to build the shop with. Ecwid is not free but a monthly subscription so it will cut into your budget considerably with at least £42 per month but there is a free plan they offer for 10 products. However I found that this shop is best suited for me as it allows you to sell on your Facebook Page, Instagram Page, eBay or Amazon account with the push of a button. There is a set of free add one that is useful, and there is a lot of other paid addons and added subscription services. The advantage is that they have a very helpful support if you need it and if you are like me you will need it a lot at the beginning. So if you use WordPress to build your website then I would personally recommend that you use ECWID.
Next Step setup billing and payment options
Your next step is to set up your billing and payment options for your shop. Use whatever you like. I use standard options such as bank transfer credit and debit card and PayPal. If you use PayPal make sure to use a business and not a personal account. For payment processing using credit and debit card I recommend SQUARE Square works with all online shop platforms and is easy to set up it only takes several minutes to set up and is very easy to use. I use square in my own online shop for card purchases. You can also use STRIPE that is also very good for processing cards and as easy to setup.
I also offer my customers to pay by card when I visit them in person for this I use SUM-UP, do not get the square reader as it is more expansive then sumup I have covered the sum-up payments in another blog post last year when I started using it. You can find it here
Shipping and Delivery
Here is something to consider. While your shop with Avon only allows you to ship to customers in the UK and Northern Ireland, with your own shop you are free to ship worldwide. That is a big advantage as I have customers now all over the world and they are happy to order with me. You need however to plan this ahead of time.
What you can use, is Store Pickup that I have renamed to Representative Delivery, which is always set to be free in my local area. I have set another option called Customer Pick up that is also free when a customer wants to come to me to pick it up. This is a very good option to get rid of extra stock when they visit your home and see things they might like.
then I have as I use ECWID, Royal Mail Plugin, that allows me to offer Royal Mail delivery and is automatically calculated in your shop, and besides that, I personally set up an account with DHL to do express and worldwide delivery. this is not needed when you first start but might come in handy as they pick up the boxes from your home and DHL is also automatically calculated from inside the shop so nothing you need to do there just enter your account details and you are set to go.
TIPP: Offer FREE Delivery! I found that this increases my conversion rate. I offer FREE Delivery to the UK when orders reach £20 or to the EU for £50 or Worldwide £100. The customer sees that in his shopping cart it is reminding him to spend x amount more to get free shipping to his destination.
BASICS are done
Now you are done with the basics, you can start on your products… Don’t rush things take your time and make it as professional as possible, people will like it and you can improve and add stuff later.
Time to add products
Now, this is the thing that will take up most of your time. Pro tip: So my suggestion is to start with one category and expand from there. Whenever you have finished a category go to the next. If you start your online shop in campaign 10 for example, and it takes several campaigns to finish, do not change books. Keep the campaign 10 book until you are finished, otherwise you will get confused and start all over again.
First things first.
You go to the Avon Website, let’s say to the Shower gel section and start at the very top of the page going to one product at a time. You will save the picture to your hard disk, copy and paste the product name and description, the weight of the product is always the size, and add the price and order number from the book. Remember to keep the same book until you are finished to avoid confusion. Then add the saved picture to the product listing and your first product is finished. This you do about 2000 times…. You get it it takes a long, long time. Personally me it took 6 months to get all products online.
Save and publish
The good thing about it is that while you add your products to the store, you are already online so people can see your store, I always mentioned on the website and on my social media account that I am still in the process of building the store, and while not all products are yet there people can order everything they see on my AVON store link with me and I would send it to them. If a customer asked me for a product I would prioritize the product and add it to the store right away so he can order it with me.
There is help if you are stuck
If you are stuck at any point please reach out to me via email I might be able to help you!