kigo

kigo is eco minimalist footwear for an active lifestyle and everyday casual comfort. kigo is founded in minimalist design, resulting in lightweight footwear featuring a wide toe box, anatomical shape and thin, flexible, zero drop, low toe spring outsole. kigos are made to maximize the foot's ability to function as it is naturally intended, increasing strength, sensory perception, balance and endurance, while keeping it protected from the elements.

kigo is committed to environmental responsibility and accountability in all aspects of our business. A virtual company, kigo believes that technology is a beautiful tool for keeping our carbon footprint at bay. The kigo staff work remotely, communicate through email and phone, meet as a team and with partners via video conferencing, create and utilize digital marketing materials, conduct day to day business paperlessly and avoid extraneous travel. kigo's main goal is to AVOID | REDUCE and to REUSE | RECYCLE when we cannot AVOID.

kigo has been certified by the Green America’s Green Business Network as an environmentally and socially responsible business.

kigo strives for a waste-free lifecycle for our footwear. This includes the components we use to make our shoes, treatments applied to the components, production processes, packaging and ultimately where well-loved and well-worn kigos end when retired. The kigo team takes great pride in having successfully created a truly responsible cradle to cradle footwear option that is both recycled and recyclable/upcyclable through partnerships with PLUS Compound Technologies and Soles4Souls.

Customers who go the extra green mile to complete the cradle to cradle lifecycle are rewarded with 25% off their next kigofootwear.com order.

How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?

kigo sells direct to consumer through our Shopify website as well as through retail partners. Our company launched in 2009 with a website/e-commerce designed and built independently. We found that the functionality we were looking for was not delivered, in many cases we didn't know what to ask for and the process of making updates and changes was extremely tedious and expensive. In addition, the complications, integration and additional costs of payment processors, payment gateways, hosting and servers made life very difficult for co-founders with no background in this area. We knew we needed something better to build our business. We researched a variety of options with Shopify landing on top in multiple categories. We made the decision to move our platform in 2013 and it was the best decision we could have made. In terms of operations, we love that the pricing and costs are clear and detailed.

There is nothing hidden and we don't need to coordinate with multiple companies to make a sale. This frees time to focus on growth. We have had good traffic to the site and consistent sales. We have direct control over the company image portrayed on the site and are able to continuously improve and add functionality. We re-launched the brand under new leadership in January and released new styles in May. Shopify made the web/online sales component extremely easy. We sing the praises of Shopify to anyone looking to build an e-commerce site and love what it has allowed us to do.

The best part is we feel Shopify has the ability to scale and grow with our business without a total overhaul. This provides great peace of mind.

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?

kigo is a small business run by two full-time owners. We currently source the materials and components for our shoes from North America, manufacture in Mexico and warehouse/distribute independently from Atlanta, GA. We are hands-on in every aspect of our business from sourcing to sales. We are currently using the MailChimp, YOTPO and Shopify Facebook Store apps and have a long list to research for additional functionality and assistance.

What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?

- Sign up, explore and test

-Don't be afraid to ask questions (online support is very helpful)

-Look at other sites hosted by Shopify for ideas on what is possible

-Ensure your photography is high resolution and crisp

-Make a list of your challenges and explore the apps section for add ons to make life easier

-Learn about ways to maximize the ease of use for your site visitors

-Review your Shopify dashboard stats on a regular basis and use them to improve your business

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