Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
Patrick Mathews, the man behind the idea of our flagship product was on a BA flight from London to Denver for the holidays when the entertainment system failed. Looking around the plane he noticed everyone turning to their smartphones for in-flight entertainment. He thought it would be pretty cool to have a grip/holder/stand that worked with all smartphone that could be attached to plane seats, car dashboards, train tables, etc and set out to design the award-winning product. We produce in-house in the UK exclusively.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Direct online sales are by far the most profitable of us. We work closely with an online sales consultancy called We Are Astute to drive in a huge amount of traffic from social media which has put us in the top 1% for traffic vs other sites that launched the same week as ours. We have also had great success in the global duty free market and in major retail chains (Walmart, Tesco & Samples), but e-com is a country mile ahead in terms of margin, exposure and connecting with our customers. Social media leaves every other form of online marketing at the starting line. It is a major revenue stream for us.
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?
ShippingEasy, Order Printer, the built-in remarking apps for abandoned carts. We also have built a private app to redirect visitors to the correct store in terms of currency and fulfilment. ShippingEasy is used daily for our US fulfilment via USPS. We outsource to a fulfilment house in the UK & US.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
In my opinion keeping as much direct business as possible is crucial to success. When you launch a new cool product you tend to get inundated with emails for sales agents, distributors and reps that want to sell your product and its very tempting to sell to them. This scatter gun approach can be detrimental and takes a while (years even in our case) to get things back on track. I've found that when rolled out properly, these are great channels. But they don't tend to invest the time and dedication to get the same message across as you do, which results in you competing with your own product on the likes of Amazon and eBay etc. Keep as much control and focus for the brand as possible and use Shopify to do it!