How long to await a return on investment?

Among the challenges of an internet retailer is to ascertain the best marketing channels.

Along with Facebook advertising, I decided to focus My Wedding Décor on a couple of wedding directories to reach brides-to-be.

I expected that being under the umbrella of a national bridal directory would introduce me to tens of thousands of prospective brides and to countless vendors. I thought it’d boost my credibility with new providers, who would want to know where I promoted My Wedding Décor.

My priority was to join Australia’s leading online wedding Easy Weddings, which lists over 5,000 Australian vendors, in groups from accessories to wedding hire.

When I joined in August 2015, I picked the”Decorations” category. I was pleased to see in Google Analytics that visitors from Easy Weddings had a sub-30 percent bounce rate, and a mean of seven page views. I would soon get a sale, I thought at the moment.

I had been invited to a provider night at Easy Weddings’ head office, where we were placed into small groups to discuss and assess our sites, with improvements suggested by the company development managers.

The directory firm hosts bi-monthly provider workshops to assist vendors, like My Wedding Décor, optimize their listings through internet marketing, product description, image display, and client management. It’s also a chance to meet other business owners. I must have attended at least four assignments.

In November 2015, I had over 180 products for sale or hire (rent). Easy Weddings encouraged me to become one of eight shops where brides could directly buy my goods on the Easy Weddings store site. I could handpick my merchandise; Easy Weddings was eager for me to include many, as speedily as possible.

But with the exception of a couple of smaller items which can be collected in person, most of my occasion hire products have to be delivered. (I addressed last month that part of my company, in”Wedding rentals (and order thresholds) boost revenue.”) Since delivery, setup, and pickup fees are based on the amount, size, complexity, time, and place — and require a customized quote — I couldn’t list my hire things on the Easy Weddings shop.

Nonetheless, I was thrilled. With Easy Wedding’s enormous traffic, I estimated I’d make hundreds of sales monthly.

Fourteen days after launch the Easy Weddings shop, in February 2016, I got my first order for a peony fairy light series worth AUD$65.50 — approximately USD$49.13. The client then ordered four more directly from the My Wedding Décor site.

In March 2016I hired my Upwork virtual assistant to upload new products to my Easy Weddings shop. Easy Weddings took from March 13 to March 29 to include 12 new products to my store. I complained. They were marginally quicker, delaying approval for just 12 days for the May batch of 28 products. Again, I was upset.

Regrettably, a pattern was emerging. It required from July 12 to July 26 to receive nine products approved, then from Sept. 10 to Sept. 20 for a mere four to go live.

I felt dissatisfied and took a closer look at the amount of my opponents in Melbourne on Easy Weddings. There are 48 decorations providers but just 23 Wedding hire firms.

From Oct. 20, my occasion hire goods — none are recorded on Easy Weddings — had contributed 62 percent of my earnings for the previous 12 months. It was time to change my list to the appropriate”Hire” category, which has half of the contest.

The Easy Weddings’ business development manager protested, saying I received more visitors in the Decorations section. However, Google Analytics listed not 1 sale within the 14 months I had been recorded in that category.

Since my group shift five weeks ago, I haven’t had one trip from Easy Weddings for the Wedding Hire class — obviously no earnings.

Embarrassingly, earnings from the Easy Weddings shop in 12 months was just AUD$236 (USD$177), with four earnings.

Up to now, I’ve spent AUD$5,500 (USD$4,125) in my Easy Weddings list, not including the AUD$44 monthly fee for having an Easy Weddings merchant list.

Realizing I didn’t have to be under Easy wedding umbrella, I advised that the team this week I was quitting my listing and store existence, even though it will stay live until Dec. 18.

While I have benefitted from Easy Weddings in abstract ways, it was time to cut my losses and invest elsewhere.

How long do you allow for a return on investment?