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The Shufu Story Begins...

As a web and software developer, I have the technical knowledge. I've never worked in retail but always found it fascinating. One of my -admittedly lame- standard jokes is that Amazon could only be so successful because of early adopters like me; I've been a regular customer since 2002 and an avid traveller who needed to channel her passion into something else for the next little while – yea, thanks COVID-19!

With everybody staying at home as much as possible, online shopping and Shopify market shares skyrocketed. Sounds like a match in cyber heaven for a single wannabe shopkeeper like me. Coincidentally, a customer wanted to modernize her shopping cart site that we had developed in 2006 (!), so I jumped into my first Shopify project with both feet.

Becoming a true online selling expert takes much more than diligent studies and passing a couple of Shopify certification exams. I needed my own store to experiment and fail and hopefully eventually succeed. What to sell? Maybe start with slippers for travellers and guests, an inspiration I brought back from my extensive China travels?

It was and is a steep learning curve, for me not so much the technical aspects, but everything around it from product development and sourcing to advertising. I started sifting through the hypes of print-on-demand, dropshipping, influencer marketing, sublimation printing and Cricut design, to name only a few. My head is still spinning.

The cute slippers and planned new spin-offs don't need a blog to praise their qualities but the development and epiphanies of this site's life story are well worth sharing. Nowadays online experts give us detailed recipes to any undertaking. I still feel like an apprentice and just raise some questions and gotchas I stumble onto, hoping they are useful on your own journey through the online selling jungle.

 

If you want to know more about my technical background, please visit www.merlinus.com.


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