Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
We had vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO recipes that we wanted to share with our community and beyond.
We are primarily a wholesale business but started selling products at our local farmer's market and on a tiny Etsy page. When we started selling to distributors, our business started to take off.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Our most valuable tool is probably our newsletter. Once or twice a month we will promote new items on our website or send a coupon to use on our site. That always drives a lot of traffic. We have also always been big about sending samples to website and bloggers that have good traffic. It has been very valuable to have the link to our website live on other, more popular websites.
Another thing that has been successful is embedding special projects into our website. For example, a crowdfunding campaign or survey. If we are creating those through other apps/websites, we always embed them onto our pages so that when we share the link it goes directly to our site.
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?
The apps we use the most are Mail Chimp and Product Customizer. We are hoping to add Charity Checkout when we re-design this year. We have an employee who is in charge of all of our online sale fulfillment, and are currently shipping domestically with FedEx.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Remember to keep your store looking clean! The cleaner it is, the more sales you will get. Every time we simplify our design, our sales increase. So don't put too many products or categories on to start.
Is it clear how to add things to your cart? Are your products categorized well? User friendly is definitely the key! Also, pictures are everything. We invested in a DSLR camera, basic light kit and white back-drop for our photos. It wasn't a big investment for a lot of return.