*This is my first post on the technical aspect of running a business in Korea, so I apologize if there are words and ideas you are unfamiliar with. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see if I can create more content that is helpful.
My website for Flower Gift Korea is currently https://www.flowergiftkorea.com though it was originally http://www.flowergiftkorea.com. Did you notice anything different about the two website URLs (addresses)? Maybe you didn’t, but if you look again, the first one starts off with “https” and the second one is “http“. I don’t want to get too technical about this, but the difference between the two is that “https” is a more secure website. So if your website accepts payments from people via credit card or other methods used on your website, it may be a good idea to get your website as secure as possible.
I recently made the https change in my website to make it more secure when customers told me that they were getting warnings that my website was “not secure”. One person messaged me on Facebook:
Customer: “Hi, I’m trying to order from your website, but it keeps saying it’s insecure. Can you help me with my order?”
Me (confused): “Oh really, I’m sorry about that. Yes, I can help you.”
So if we take a moment to look at this incident, as well as others, we can see that people were being told that my website was insecure, even though it looked like everything was fine on my end. At first, I thought it was an isolated incident, but then I got other messages. And it wasn’t until a month or so of receiving the first complaint did I really look in to the problem, which was a big mistake. I should have really took some action when I received the first complaint/warning about the website not being secure, because it probably costed me at least a few weeks (maybe even more) worth of sales that could have been coming in through the”Chrome” browser.
What’s a browser? Well a browser is the Internet browser type you use to connect to the Internet. If you are a Mac user, you will most likely use “Safari”, and if you are in Korea, your computer will most likely use “Internet Explorer”. “Chrome” is the Internet browser created by Google and it’s a browser I just recently started to use. I actually started to use it by fluke because my friend mentioned something about Pixel for Facebook business, which I don’t know much about. And there was a tool on Chrome that would help with the use of Pixel. In the end, I didn’t end up using Pixel for Facebook business, but who knows, I may end up using it one day.
Even after I got the chrome browser, it didn’t occur to me that I should check my website via the Chrome browser. Up until then, I only checked my website on Safari, Internet Explorer, and whatever Internet Samsung uses on their smart phones. It wasn’t until a customer messaged me on our Kakao ID:
Customer: “Hi! I’m trying to choose the products on your website, but I can’t seem to find the add to cart button.”
Me (confused): “Oh yeah? If you refresh the page, then it may help.”
Customer: “Oh, I figured it out! I just changed my browser. It wasn’t working on Chrome.”
Me (confused): “Oh yeah? Wow. sorry for that. Thank you for letting me know.”
So if you look at my past two conversations with customers, you will notice that I am always confused when they tell me about a problem. Honestly, I should be on top of my game, but I wasn’t! But that’s the thing with business, there are going to be things that pop up that you won’t be ready for, and that’s okay. You just got to learn from your experiences.
So I downloaded chrome for Mac and googled “Flower Gift Korea”. And it is usually the first website that shows up under the ads, but I couldn’t find it on the first two pages! What the….something was not right. So I just went to my website by typing it www.flowergiftkorea.com and I checked the address bar where you type the website address. At the left of the website name was a white exclamation mark, I clicked it and it said something along the lines of, “This website is insecure. Your information is not safe. Do not use a credit card. This shop is not a place you want to trust…” I made up the last part, but it’s pretty much the same message to a potential customer. What’s worse was that I wasn’t even able to add any products to the cart, which meant it wasn’t even possible to buy anything from the website! This was not good. So I had to do something about it.
You may be thinking, well customers could just use another browser if they really want to purchase something from your online store. Well, that’s not really good business thinking. You want to limit the hassle for your customer. So the fact that people were. messaging me for help to purchase something because my website wasn’t working tells me two very important things:
- They really wanted to buy something from Flower Gift Korea and nowhere else for whatever reason.
- There must have been others who just didn’t have time to deal with everything and decided to use another online flower service or not buy flowers at all.
Both of these points really bother me, but especially point 2. I mean, how many sales did I lose? Who knows, I’ll never know, but just to get an idea, I checked my analytics to see how many of my customers used the Chrome browser:
The number one browser people have been using when checking www.flowergiftkorea.com has been Chrome! Oh my goodness…this was not good. But at least I finally knew, and in the end it wasn’t all bad news, because I was forced to fix other things on my website that I had been meaning to fix, but didn’t get around to.
In case you are unsure of what analytics are, analytics are basically numbers that show you how many people visited your site, from which country, from which browser, etc. There are a lot of things you can do with it. So this was a screenshot from the browser section of my analytics for Flower Gift Korea. If you want to learn more about analytics and how to use it for your business, there are tons of resources online that have great information about it. But if you want me to create something, just let me know. And just with this one photo above, we can talk about so many things about selling and marketing online, but for now, we’re just focusing on the first column with the Browser names.
So it was very important for me to change the website to Https, so that people using Chrome would not be scared away. The thing was that my website wasn’t always insecure. It was fine, I think, because I didn’t hear anything about it and Chrome has been the most used browser since the beginning. But recently, things on my website were automatically updated, and will continue to be updated. For example, my WordPress and Woocommerce were updated. WordPress is the base platform I use to create the website off of, which is Flower Gift Korea, and Woo Commerce is a plugin/software that I am currently using to make sales for my flower shop. So these two programs were updated, along with other plugins, which are software type programs that you use to make your website better. But some things weren’t done properly, which led to my website not being able to work on Chrome.
One of the major warning signs I got was when someone from Australia called and asked if he could order flowers for the day because he was making his order later in the day. I told him that he could and if he needed help, he could let me know. And he was like, “I think I can figure it out on the website”. I wait and wait, and guess what…no order! So that was another sign that something was definitely up.
That is why it is a very good idea to check your website on multiple browsers so that all of your potential customers are able to order something from you as easy as possible. If not, you might lose out on some sales. After I was able to fix everything, I checked on Chrome for my google ranking and I was back on the first page. Google awards pages that are relevant and safe. Now, if you go to www.flowergiftkorea.com and you are in the Chrome browser, you will see a green lock and the word “Secure” beside it. It might be worth it to secure your website so you can rank better on google and so that customers don’t have any doubt.
There are so many things I need to be on top of for my flower business in Korea. I have to make sure to get good quality flowers, nice wrapping paper, pretty boxes for gift sets, make nice flower designs, online customer service, offline customer service, web maintenance, etc. But once you figure things out in your business, things become a lot easier. And you won’t figure things out over night, but it also won’t take forever. I now know where to get good quality flowers, nice materials, I already have flower designs, and the only real work I need to do with our website is add new products and create blog posts, which are both optional. So yeah, there are a lot of things you need to consider if you run your own business in Korea, but the greatest thing is that you’ll be in control, and you have the chance to create something that will be able to run without you being there. And that is the ultimate goal for Flower Gift Korea. But before that can happen, I need to create a wonderful brand that people can trust.