Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
I promoted my music documentary for over 19 years before it was finally released. I have come to understand what the fans and followers of our brand are interested in. My film is about 1960s session players in Los Angeles and before the DVD was for sale, I kept feeding the public the brand with like-minded products such as bowling shirts, t-shirts, guitar straps, music CDs, music books, coffee cups, etc. As a filmmaker, my deal with Magnolia pictures stressed that I would be able to sell DVDs and Blu-rays off our site. The other product are purchased in America.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
If you look into the history of the film, The Wrecking Crew, you will see why it took 19 years to make. With a 110 classic rock songs, we needed to make sure we licensed all the music which cost over $500,000. Before that DVD was for sale, I spent years promoting the making of the film, the film in festivals and the film itself with merchandise that supported the message and the content of the film. We know have over 70,000 Facebook fans and 31K emails on our website. We constantly feed our fans with new products and sales. With years of documentary footage, I try to only push our products with a video clip that they haven't seen before. This prevents 'unsubscribes' from happening. Facebook and direct emails result in the highest traffic and sales.
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 POS is amazing when I'm sharing the film around the country. I'm able to sell DVDs and other merch on the spot. The reality of folks buying a DVD after they left a movie theater is so much less than if you're right there to talk about it and make it easy with their credit card. They tend to buy more with a credit card when in person. We used to handle shipping from our home but it became obvious in the early stages of the film release that we needed to find a fulfillment center. We recently left a fulfillment center due to their lack of understanding of Shopify. We found another company that took over due to that fact. They understood what we wanted to do and they taught us more about Shopify. Now I can promote and spend time making more money instead of filling orders.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Take the time to learn what Shopify has. But the best thing is to always ask their experts. You guys have been great helping on the phone. If they don't know it, they try to figure it out and call you back in a day or so. The customer service is amazing.