Victoria and Gene launched their first e-commerce business in early 2014. Like many, it was their dream to own and operate a small business. When they first started to do some research on launching a small business, they were shocked to find out just how extraordinary the monthly overhead costs were for a physical retail location.
Somewhat discouraged and with the little money that they had, they had to figure out another alternative way to make that dream of becoming a business owner a reality. That's when they heard about Shopify... a beautifully simply, yet sophisticated e-commerce platform that was affordable to use. Within a month of joining the Shopify family, they had built a fully functional online retail website. The first sale came in within hours of going live.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
The first sale is credited to the social media frenzy that Victoria and Gene created when they launched their site. They understood that the fastest way to get word out on the internet was through social networking sites. They worked non-stop to build a following on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
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?
Suzy's Beauty is a business that loves to connect with their customers. That's why it is so crucial for the business to use apps that allow Victoria and Gene to connect with the people that visit the site. One great app is Zopim which allows the backend user to initiate a chat with a visitor.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
First, as the late Sam Walton would often do, check out the competition and make sure that your prices are always lower.
Second, invest a considerable amount of time and energy to make sure that your site looks visually attractive and trustworthy. If you don't know how to code, use Creative Suite, and take awesome photos, hire someone to do them. Those things will pay off quickly.
Third, search engine optimization and social networking sites will drive traffic to your site. Landing on page one of Google's search results is the holy grail. Make sure that you are using appropriate keyword combinations that best describe your products. It is crucial that your site and products move up in the Google search index rankings. Also use social networking sites to build a following and hopefully drive additional traffic to your site. Run special promotions and contests to excite and galvanize your client base.