QALO started out of pure frustration. After getting married we realized what a nuisance wearing our traditional wedding band was. While we love our wives, and love being married, the reality was that our ring was getting in the way (literally) of our active lifestyle.
The married men we talked with shared the same frustrations. Every time we hit the gym, worked on the car, surfed, rock-climbed, played (insert sport of choice here________) our wedding band got in the way. These are the stories we heard over and over: “I lost my ring.” “I put it in my locker and it was stolen.” “I dove in, and didn’t even realize it was gone.” “I gashed it on a rock, and the rock won.” “Man, I don’t even play ball with my ring on!” After all of these stories we searched for a solution that would allow us to show our commitment of marriage, and wear a comfortable wedding band that could withstand our active lifestyle. Thus…
QALO pronounced [KAY-LO] was born. Q-uality A-thletics L-ove O-utdoors!
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
The amazing thing about our product is that there are these really large powerful communities of people who experience the problem out product solves. So we have been able to establish fantastic affiliate relationships with networks of firefighters, military groups, cross fit communities and other tribes of people who are not able to wear their metal wedding rings all the time.
Aside from the affiliate channels we have also had tremendous success with social advertising. The ability to target our ads to active married men and women has yielded tremendous results.
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?
One of the best things about using Shopify has been the access to all of the custom applications. Right now we are using: Mailchimp, fliptabify, findmyringsize, blogfeeder, editorder, contentplum, shopify order printer, contact form, and Jilt
Each one of these apps would have cost thousands of dollars to develop on our own and we have been able to install them with just a click. Findmyringsize and content plum alone have saved us hundreds of hours in customer service and increased our conversion rate substantially by allowing us to show off all the great things our customers have to say about our brand.
In regards to our shipping and fulfillment we have had to scale this up very quickly over the past year. We began, as most startups do, packaging and shipping out of our living room. We were just laughing the other day about how excited we used to be every time we got a push notification from our Shopify app letting us know that there was an order. We have long since had to turn that feature off.
Today we have partnered with a 3rd party pick pack and ship company that has access to our Shopify account and just batches and fulfills the orders. It has saved us many late nights and wasted weekends, no one loves that company more than my wife.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
The best recommendation I can make to any Shopify owner is to immerse yourself in the Shopify universe. Participate in the forums, ask questions of other shop owners, try as many apps as you can, subscribe to the blog, engage the customer service, every piece of this community has helped us learn and grow from ground zero to where we are today.