The plug on a six-year-old daily deals business had been pulled in dramatic fashion.
It was three in the morning and once again Ishai Reinfeld, the 26-year-old CEO brought in to turn around Daily Steals, was unable to sleep and working late.
“I remember wondering what the heck we were going to do,” Reinfeld says.
Logistics were a mess, packages weren’t being shipped, and irate customers were threatening legal action. The company ground to a complete halt in 2015, the site was shut down, and it was up to Reinfeld to bring Daily Steals back from the dead and fix everything that was wrong.
“It was a dark time,” Reinfeld recalls. “There was a lot of fear which can either consume you or drive you to achieve great things you never thought possible.”
Reinfeld opted for the latter.
But repairing broken vendor relationships and earning back customer trust, especially in a world chock full of daily deals sites, would be only part of the turnaround equation.
Just around the corner lurked a costly ecommerce monster hell bent on making it cost prohibitive to relaunch the Daily Steals site.
There’s a Person Behind That Screen
You might call it a mea culpa…
But a letter Reinfeld penned introducing the new Daily Steals to customers was also a personal promise from a young Chief Executive passionate about focusing on relationship building. While stopping short of apologizing for the past, the letter pledged to earn back customer confidence and trust.
Reinfeld even posted his personal email so anyone with a problem had a direct line to the corner office. “It was my way of being transparent,” Reinfeld says of the letter. “I wanted to be empathetic and let customers know I understood their pain.”
A renewed focus on customer service was priority number one especially when you consider the steep competition; a myriad of daily deals sites all claim to have the best deals, and Daily Steals’ customers already felt betrayed.
“We began to treat each customer uniquely,” Reinfeld says. “We didn’t want to lose sight of the fact that there’s a real person on the other side of the screen.”
But the task of mending fences becomes even more difficult when you consider Daily Steals does business in multiple verticals with vastly different customer personas. While the brand possesses a loyal customer base that checks the site daily for steals, finding customers interested in deals on home goods to high-end electronics would require additional relationship building.
A one size fits all marketing approach would surely fail.
So Reinfeld and his team identified publishers catering to many of the personas likely to find items featured on the Daily Steals site attractive. “We established relationships with influencers,” Reinfeld says. “It became symbiotic as we’d help them offer their communities the most powerful deals possible which would result in traffic for us.”
The influencer marketing approach began to pay off quickly.
Soon, publishers, bloggers, and online influencers began asking Daily Steals, which can slash prices by selling excess inventory retailers want to move quickly, for special deals on specific products they could include in the content they were creating for their audiences. The site also became a go-to spot for refurbished electronics.
“The more we grew, the more opportunity we got,” Reinfeld said. “Once our traffic began to increase suppliers began reaching out to us and offering new products.”
Deals beget deals.
Remember, though, this was a company that had closed its ecommerce doors in 2015 and stopped selling altogether. But in a matter of months, under the leadership of a CEO still years away from his thirtieth birthday, Daily Steals is now projecting to hit nine figures in sales in 2016.
“We expect that number to increase as we continue building relationships,” Reinfeld says. “We’re taking full advantage and leveraging the tools that have helped us get this far.”
They’re the same tools to which we all have access.
Not Possible Without Shopify
When Reinfeld pulled the switch and brought Daily Steals back from the ecommerce graveyard, he did so with Shopify Plus, an enterprise ecommerce solution for high volume merchants interested in focusing on what matters rather than technology. Gone was the expensive custom back-end; in was a new color scheme, logo, and mindset.
“You don’t need $1 million to build an ecommerce site that works anymore,” Reinfeld says. “Shopify makes everything so simple and cost-effective.”
Reinfeld and his small team of four people require a platform that can scale on demand and does not require heavy development as the deals and terms of sale being offered can change rapidly. “It’s scary to think what it would cost us in developers and designers to make the updates we require in a hurry,” Reinfeld says.
Daily Steals credits Shopify’s ability to integrate easily with third-party applications for helping it automate many of the processes that tripped up the company in its former life; complex multiple supplier inventory management, fulfillment, and logistics:
- Duoplane, a drop shipping and ecommerce application that automates Daily Steals’ order routing by providing vendors with a portal to manage orders, as well as full-cycle customer service including shipments and returns
- Sift Science, a cloud-based machine learning fraud detection and prevention tool that positions Daily Steals to eliminate fraudulent purchases, slash costs, and grow revenue
“I can confidently say we’re saving tens of thousands of dollars a month thanks to the easy integrations Shopify Plus allows,” Reinfeld says. “We’re paying a fraction of the price we’d be paying without Shopify.”
No longer having to manually route orders, manage inventory, and detect fraud leaves time for Reinfeld and the Daily Steals team to focus on what’s helped them start what can only be called the beginning of a mega-turnaround; building even deeper relationships with customers, suppliers, and traffic sources.
“We now feel equipped and that we can do anything thanks to Shopify,” Reinfeld says proudly. “We love coming to work now.”
Tools to Accomplish Dreams
“I would say we have definitely turned a corner from our darkest times,” Reinfeld says of the progress Daily Steals has made in its turnaround. “It’s still an uphill battle, and there’s so much more we want to do, but yea, it feels good to have come this far.”
The renewed focus on customer service, conceived in the wee hours of Reinfeld’s many sleepless nights and punctuated by his heartfelt letter to customers, will remain a lynchpin for Daily Steals.
While you can expect the company to nurture the customer relationships it has repaired and earned over the last eight months, Daily Steals also plans to forge new relationships with product suppliers and key traffic sources while continuing to grow the top line. Even more importantly, Reinfeld suggests the company can serve as an inspiration for others who have in the past been dissuaded from chasing their entrepreneurial dreams due to technological barriers and steep costs.
“Wow, we’ve been able to accomplish our dreams because of Shopify,” Reinfeld says. “If one person hears our story and says, ‘Yea, I’m gonna go out and use Shopify to chase my dream,’ then we’ve made a real impact.”
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