Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
We noticed a huge gap in the market for finding products and gifts for men in one place. But more importantly we started to notice local, handmade businesses in the US that were going unnoticed so we wanted to feature products from small business all over the US. We did a ton of market research on the internet for small local businesses that create, design, and build their own products. Instagram was a huge source of companies for us.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We pre-launched through every social channel you can think of and really built up what we were doing. Friends and family are of course on board, we just wanted to get the outside world involved in what we were doing and most importantly why we were doing this. People love the idea. To be honest, more woman love the idea because it's so hard to find their significant other a nice gift. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest have been the most successful. We are continuing to build up our email list which is allowing us to send out more personalized, segmented email campaigns.
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?
All of the social media channels I mentioned earlier have been huge. Springbot for marketing automation is a no-brainer for any small business wanting to increase traffic, conversions, and revenue----the catalyst for that is triggered emails, re-targeting, segmentation for email, and action attribution. Automational has been great for our CRM, maintaining our vendors and our contacts. Shipping and fulfilment is a combination of working internally and with our outside vendors. The 'Shippo' app has been great for us.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
The best advice I received is to have patience. People will believe in your idea — you just have to grind every single day. Once you hit the first $1k in sales the confidence will greatly increase. Shopify does an exceptional job for startups in eCommerce. There are tons and tons of tools, blogs, resources to help get there.