Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
I purchased the store from a women who was retiring from the industry. This was a great opportunity to begin adding a fresh touch on something that had looked to be a unique market! I have several suppliers. Some based out of Europe, LA, NYC, Montreal, Vancouver, Etc.. And some are locals who actually shop in the store. Mom's who can make very unique products you will not find anywhere else!
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Because the store was already running when I took over, I had customers coming in. They've been dedicated to Ella Bella for years. It was as simple as unlocking the door. My first sale with Shopify was one I worked at. Once the website launched, we notified our customers through the bi-monthly newsletters and they began to visit the site! Facebook! Facebook is our largest social media site for gaining traffic to the online and brick and mortar store. We have a great following thats growing by the hundreds every week. I would say next we see lots of momentum from the newsletter. These often show up as "direct searches" which also are people who may know of the store or hear about us in other ways.
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?
Product Upsell is a new one I have recently set up. Gift Reggie too. I haven't seen too much traffic from either, but we are working on it. The Profiteer app is crucial to running the business correctly. It tells me what my overall profit vs. cost is, and is easy to run reports from for my accountant, and for my own research. I ship the products internally with Canada Post. International shipment I use a large shipping company like FedEx or UPS.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Having a great looking, well running online store is just as important (if not more important) than having a nicely merchandise brick and mortar store. People have been known to judge companies by the cover, i.e. how their online stores look. It should be your #1 priority. The people who visit your site should be able to easily navigate through, and find everything physically appealing. Choppily is a great app for helping you accomplish this!