Learn from the Shopify Experts Who Won Build A Business

Shopify Build a Business winners

In September, we launched the Shopify Partners Build A Business Competition. If you helped launch one of the five winning Shopify merchants’ shops, you’ll take home $10,000 USD along with a handful of other prizes including a listing in our Shopify Experts Marketplace.

We’ve compiled a tool kit of resources you can use to get your clients excited about Build A Business.

There are two easy ways to enter your clients into the Build A Business Competition:

  1. For existing eligible stores (signed up after June 1 2014), enter their myshopify URL here.
  2. For new stores, click the opt-in checkbox on the “Create Dev Shop” form.

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Last year’s winners

When we first launched this blog, we interviewed one of last year’s winners – Jason Bowman at Freak Design – about the winning shop he worked with, and how he planned to spend his prize.

We also touched base with Jose Davila at Pixel Supply, for his work on last year’s winning shop MVMT Watches.

MVMT Watches sought out the help of more than one Shopify Partner. James Erck from Above Market chatted with us about his experience working with a company looking to make high-end watches more affordable.

Here’s what he shared with us:

How did you initially get in touch with the winning shop?

MVMT Watches contacted us when they were transitioning from Magento to Shopify and looking for some help making edits to their theme, learning more about some of the available third-party apps in the Shopify App Store, and integrating some marketing, advertising, and affiliate services.

What sort of unique features did MVMT need for their site?

MVMT Watches has done a wonderful job leveraging social media.  We worked with them to integrate a few Facebook promotions and affiliate services that really help to draw more traffic and awareness to their Shopify store.  Through some of these social media “loops” they’ve been able to jump from 8K to 229K Facebook likes in only a few months, and draw enough sales to win the Shopify Build a Business Competition!

What was your favourite part about working with them?

They’re very easy to work with and know how to leverage their successes. Jake (Kassan, co-founder) is a really bright guy — he has done a wonderful job marketing MVMT Watches, especially on Facebook. It’s been an absolute blast to watch their staggering growth, and rather inspiring too.

What was the most difficult obstacle you overcame while working on the shop?

I would say the most difficult part of working on the shop was getting all the third-party apps properly integrated and configured. There can be a lot of little nuances in setting up some of these services, and it can be difficult to troubleshoot other developers’ code. Luckily, most of the companies we worked with have excellent technical support and documentation, and webkit developer tools are an absolute necessity too.

What lessons did you learn from working on this shop?

I think MVMT Watches is a great example of a company that does virtually everything right.  Super clean homepage, smaller product catalog, consistent and excellent product photography, excellent use of short videos, product reviews, and chunked out product information. All of these help guide a customer toward making informed buying decisions without overloading their senses. Like my dad used to say, “Make sure to do the basic very, very well.”

If you could do one thing differently, what would it be?

Buy stock in MVMT Watches.  Haha… seriously.  :)

What is your favourite feature on their shop?

I really like the Press page and pop-up quotes in the footer. They’re simple but engaging little Easter eggs that effectively create instant credibility through the use of well-known brand logos. I wish more companies would follow MVMT Watches’ lead and leverage their press success in a comparably clean and elegant fashion.

Shopify Build a Business winners: MVMT website

Were you aware that they were a frontrunner in the competition?

No, I was not aware they were a frontrunner in the competition.  I knew that they were doing extremely well, and their growth on Facebook was pretty staggering, so I probably should have put two and two together. We were really excited for them when we received the call from Shopify!

Why do you think they were so successful?

They do the basics really, really well on their website, and they strongly leverage social media.  Social sharing and referral promotions are very prominent on their site, and they actively run a number of social media promotions.  Both of these help to create a self-feeding cycle of sharing (and ultimately commerce).  It also doesn’t hurt to sell really great products!

Any interesting anecdotes or fun facts about the shop you can share?

They were the second highest funded fashion startup on Indiegogo, they jumped from 8k to 40k Facebook likes in about three months, and they were ranked as the second best product in 2013 by Cool Material — not too shabby!

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