The big idea from the beginning was to democratize our design, and let our fans have the leading role in what designs we launched.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
First, through Branded search and Referrals. We work hard to deliver an exceptional experience, so that folks talk about us (on social and when they get stopped on the street because of their bright watch!)
Second, we invest a lot of time (not money, time) on SEO. Make sure to have a blog, but also commit to updating it frequently. We also write a lot of content for other websites. Earning traffic from relevant websites goes a long way.
Third, focus on giving your fans information they can use. Do not just write newsletters and Facebook posts about your product. Find a way to tap into the true interests of your fans, and help make their lives more fun and engaging, even in a little way.
Finally, optimize your website. A/B test landing pages and messaging to make sure that you give yourself the best chance for success when interested consumers stop by!
Our first sales came from bugging the heck out of our friends and family. Soon after, we began customizing watches for major brand like Google and Sega as holiday gifts for employees!
We'd struggled for a few years to make web sales; the mix-and-match story we want to tell about our watches is a complex one which off-the-shelf websites cannot handle. We have to create "virtual" products to showcase all of the interchangeability.
Consider: 10 watches is normally 10 SKUs. For Modify, it's 120 SKUs: 10 watch faces, 10 watch straps, 100 permutations of each of face and strap
Our Tech Director, Justin, was able to build a completely custom product on top of Shopify - you can see it here (http://modifywatches.com/pages/visualizer). It takes the customization tools that you see on major sites like NikeID.com and Timbuk2.com, and adds a layer so customers can visualize what their *entire* collection of mix-and-match watches will look like.
Without Shopify as a base engine, there's no way we could have an ecommerce store with this critical functionality.
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've used a bunch of apps, and will be adding more soon.
A few of our favorites so far:
-Traffic Control enabled us to redirect thousands of links when we moved to Shopify
-The Shopify Facebook Store app is becoming more critical. We have 30,000 Facebook fans - now we can finally offer them products on Facebook!
-MetaFields Editor helps with SEO
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Always strive to exceed your customers expectations. Even after four years, we refuse to outsource our fulfillment. We manage all of our shipping from our office. Michelle, our Customer Happiness Boss and our teammate Drew make sure that everyone gets the product they want - on time and in perfect condition. We're huge Zappos fans, and we strive to deliver an A+ experience every time.