Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
Hello Hair came about after realising we'd been endlessly searching for an all natural hair mask, which wasn't filled with chemicals and preservatives. While many salon treatments, serums and masks claim to be all natural, we were disheartened to discover that they all contained ingredients we could barely interpret, let alone pronounce! We created the Hello Hair Hydrating Mask to help our own distressed tresses - damaged by years of colouring, heat styling and environmental stress - and were so impressed by the softness, shine and new-found manageability of our healthier hair, that we knew others would fall in love with the product too! www.hellohair.com.au exclusively sells Hello Hair products that we have developed ourselves. Hello Hair prides itself on being Australian owned and Australian made.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Our first ever sales were driven by social media - the primary marketing platform for Hello Hair. We have a very strong Instagram presence with nearly 300,000 followers (and counting), as well as accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pintrest. Peer-to-peer marketing has a great reach through channels such as Instagram, and really gets people "talking" about our products. When you think about it, word of mouth will always be the strongest marketing tool of a quality product; social media just allows consumers to broadcast their positive opinion to the masses! It's pretty surreal when you then might be sitting in a cafe or at a hair salon, and overhear complete strangers raving about the wonders of Hello Hair. Our main focus has always been on using Instagram to reach our target audience. It's been our strongest sales channel from the beginning, and continues to push a global audience to www.hellohair.com.au. However, not everyone who needs Hello Hair in their life is on Instagram! So we'll always be trying gain new market exposure, and that means exploring other channels.
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?
Shopify has been a game-changer for Hello Hair. It's very hard to imagine if our business would have had anywhere near the levels of success without us using the Shopify platform from day one. We began Hello Hair as a very lean start-up, as we didn't know how our product would be received. This meant taking the cheapest plan and using a template for the web design - everything was very basic! As our sales grew, thankfully we were able to scale up really easily; we upgraded to better plans and customised our web design and email templates.
It's fair to say that Shopify has evolved almost as much as we have over time! The intelligence that this platform now gives us is really valuable particularly in analysis of orders and reporting. It leaves us wanting/needing little more from other tools and apps. Shipping and fulfillment is something that we're constantly working on. As such, we're currently transitioning to using more third-party fulfillment services. Being based in Australia can mean long shipping times for some international customer orders, so anything that can help us improve customer experience is being adapted where possible!
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Ask questions! Take a look at your business from a customer perspective, so that you can deliver what's missing from their lives. Great customer engagement is so important in today's marketplace, and your customers are usually delighted to offer their opinion.