Coco Gusto Chocolates was recently featured on Pastry Arts Magazine's Business Bites: Setting Up An Online Shop.
Pastry Arts Magazine is the new multimedia platform for pastry & baking professionals set to inspire, educate and connect the pastry community as an informational conduit spotlighting the trade. "We’re on a mission to inspire, educate and connect the gourmet community as an informational conduit spotlighting the trade and giving a voice to hardworking pastry and baking professionals."
What type of online shop do you have, and what prompted you to launch it?
What originally prompted me to start making chocolates was getting laid off over four years ago, over the holidays. I had no income and needed to come up with some Christmas presents, so I started researching and experimenting on how to make
chocolates. A year later, this new hobby developed into an online chocolate business.
How did you get your shop set up, and what e-commerce platform do you use?
Before launching a website, I started by building out my social media, getting feedback
on images, new flavors, and branding ideas. In the past, I’ve set up online stores on various platforms, and this time I chose to stick with wix.com, because I felt like they’ve been the easiest to work with – it feels more like building a PowerPoint presentation than a website. I also like that they lay out all the steps for you to get your business off the ground, giving me tips and pointers on SEO, blogs, list building, and even making it simple to set up my credit card processor.
What was the most challenging part of the process?
I feel like the most challenging part about launching an online shop is getting your name out there and building a web presence. It takes some time and persistence.
What is an ongoing challenge you deal with and how have you overcome this?
An ongoing challenge I face is shipping. Even though big players like Amazon aren’t direct competitors, they are training customers to expect fast and free shipping. To stay
competitive, I’ve been offering free shipping on purchases over a certain amount and
personalizing each order and each customer interaction.
What’s your best advice for someone thinking of launching an online shop?
Pay attention to and keep evolving your online presence – it’s crazy how much business you can get from word of mouth or a few customer referrals.