Jerkyspot.com happen almost entirely by chance. I had been wanting to start an ecommerce store of my own, but didn't know what I wanted to sell. The only reason I landed on jerky was because I decided if I got distracted and didn't end up selling it, at least I could eat it.
We didn't know a thing about the jerky business before we started. We started with one vendor and a few flavors. We chose a domain name in under 30 minutes (it was terrible). Original it was called Jerkynazis.com! We were thinking along the lines of the soup nazi from Seinfeld, others didn't share our viewpoint. We decided to switch about 60 days in when we noticed vendors weren't calling us back. It was all about making incremental forward progress and not getting stuck by having to make the perfect decision. We switched the name and everything worked out fine.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Our first sales came from Google Adwords, but now we are getting sales from a lot of channels. Amazon, ebay, shopify, Amazon Product Ads, Google Product Ads, Affiliates, Facebook, Email. You just try things and see what works for your business
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
We use a lot of apps, but only keep ones that really make a difference. Quantity Price Breaks and Upsell from bold apps have been part of our store all along. We started using Recur Hub for subscriptions and likes its simplicity. For email we use Retention Grid and Mail Chimp. They have made a big difference. We also use Zendesk for customer service and Shipstation for shipping.
One of the more unique apps we use is aftership. It lets customers know where there package is the whole time.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Know where your strongest link is and exploit it. If something isn't working, stop doing it or change it. Don't worry about super advanced strategies until you are nailing the basics.
So many people spend all their time doing things that don't grow their business. Find a competitive advantage and build a camp around it. If its the number of products, build off that, if it's subscriptions, build off that. If it's an insane level of product knowledge, build off that. Just have a clear idea of where you are different from your competitors and do everything you can to accentuate it.