Advice For New Ecommerce Store Owners: Interview With Shirley Tan

As part of our SEJ interview series, Shirley Tan of Ecommerce Systems talks about how to set priorities when starting off with a new ecommerce business.

Shirley is the author of Ecom Hell: How to Make Money in Ecommerce Without Getting Burned, which she was inspired to write as a result of not being able to find a great resource for accurate information when she was starting out.

Shirley explains more about the advice she would give to new ecommerce store owners in the video below:

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • Shirley covers a comprehensive array of information in her book from the perspective of someone starting out in ecommerce.
  • Topics in her book include SEO, PPC, accounting, merchandising, and sourcing. She also writes about buying an existing ecommerce business, as well as exit strategies for selling an ecommerce business of your own.
  • Shirley says she doesn’t go into particular depth on these topics in her book, but provides enough of a starting point on everything for readers to then go out and find more information on their own.
  • When asked about advice she would give to ecommerce store owners, especially those selling products found many other places on the web, Shirley says to start out by narrowing down a target audience. Create a personality for your site that resonates with your target audience.
  • In order to cut through the competition, your personality needs to shine throughout the whole store. Emphasize what makes you different from big box retailers.
  • Shirley believes social media is essential for ecommerce store owners. With social media you can tell your story about who you are and what your company stands for. Social media helps to level the playing field.

Please visit SEJ’s YouTube page for more video interviews.

Brent Csutoras

Brent Csutoras

Managing Partner & Chief Social Media Strategist at Search Engine Journal
Founder & CEO of Pixel Road Designs, a well respected marketing design firm, and Managing Partner at Search Engine Journal. Brent has over 10 years experience in Social Media Marketing and is an avid Futurist, focusing on the implications of future technology on society and societal growth.
Brent Csutoras