MY NEW E-COMMERCE BUSINESS UNVEILED... WELCOME TO PROPBOXES!


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Behind the scenes of an e-commerce launch | How to launch an online store | How to launch a product range | How to start an online business | The Spring Collective

A Peek Behind The Scenes

This week I'm taking you behind the scenes of my own business, and giving you a sneak peek into the new product line I'm developing! 

The working title is PropBoxes, and I'm hoping to launch in February 2018. I thought it's be interesting to document the process for you here on The Spring Collective Blog because I've been learning so much through this process that seems like it'd be valuable to share. 

 

The Big Idea

I'm creating a line of social media prop styling kits for anyone who wants to elevate the imagery they post online. 

Customers will be able to chose from a range of visual identities that suit their own personal style or brand aesthetic. So, if you're a minimalist and monochromatic kind of grammer, there'll be a box for you. If you love a beachy vibe in your life, there'll be a box for you. If you cultivate an earthy and crafted mood, there'll be a box for you too. 

Inside each box will be around 12 interesting, beautiful, and photogenic props that I'm sourcing from around the world to suit each style. That's what I was looking for in Morocco last week, and the buying trip was a real success. I found some incredible pieces made by local woodworkers, potters, and I even had some big bouncy tassels hand made. Negotiating for those in my high school French was no small feat! 

But the concept doesn't end there. The box itself will be printed on the inside and fold out into a mini photography studio that features two backdrops to help create incredible flat lays. 

I'm also writing two online courses at the moment. One will share tips and tricks for anyone who wants to take better photos for their personal instagram. The other is aimed at brands and explains in great detail how to craft images that sell for e-commerce and social media. 

So... that's the plan. To create a stunningly gorgeous social media styling prop box that features all the bits a pieces you need to style up the snaps of your daily latte, all packaged in a mini photography-studio on the go, and served up with a concise how-to guide to help you do it all better. 

 

Where am I now in the launch sequence?

Well, in terms of the product, I've brought quite a bit home from Morocco and I have more samples in the post from some of the international vendors I used when I ran my design store in Brisbane, Australia. That all has the content of the first round of boxes is starting to feel pretty organised.

I've found a graphic designer, a local packaging supplier, and worked out which courier service I plan to use so I'll be able to offer free shipping across Canada and shipping at a cost to the customer of around $5 to the rest of the world. I'll talk to you more about that in an upcoming post because these costs are a huge deal for all online retailers, and can really make or break an e-commerce business plan. Shipping is a HUGE expense here in Canada... even more so than in Australia where I ran my first online businesses... and holy moly! The Canada Post website gave me a nasty shock before I found some viable alternatives. 

I've got an idea about the price point for the boxes, but I want to take a few local shop owners out for a coffee over the next few weeks and ask them what they think of the idea - and specifically about the pricing. Getting that bit right is key as I plan to sell the boxes directly through my own e-commerce site (I plan to go with Shopify) and also to wholesale them to a selected retailers. Plus, it's never too early to network!

My most pressing concern this week is to work with my graphic designer to get the logo and branding ready so the boxes can go into production and I can start building the website.

My intention is to do monthly PropBox updates here on the blog so you can follow along the journey of how a product business comes together from conception through to launch. If there's anything specific you'd like to know, or topics you'd like me to cover, pop your questions in an email to catherine@thespringcollective.com. The next time I talk to you about PropBoxes, I should be able to show you some more concrete examples of how the branding is coming together, as well as my pre-launch list building strategy.