Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
Originally we started in electronic music. We then decided to create the odd t-shirt here and there around the release of an EP. We noticed fans of our music asking us for more clothing, so we couldn't miss the chance to expand it in a more physical sense. We had a pop-up retail outlet in Shoreditch, London and sold out completely in just one week. We were asked to do another! Sadly we didn't have enough stock or time. We asked many overseas manufacturers to send us swatches for different types of products. We had to source our products from multiple countries and suppliers. Some specialise in hats, some in t-shirts, some in sunglasses and so on.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We earned our first sale by maximising the fanbase we had around our founder's YouTube channel, Inspector Dubplate. Social media stemmed from his channel into the dedicated outlets we have from Inspected today. To this day our sales are driven by outstanding content, quality products, and simply understanding our customers. Our social media drives the most traffic, without a doubt. We've managed to find a balance of strategically planning what we post whilst keeping it creative and engaging (at least we like to think it is).
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 of course! We originally used a platform that rhymes with...'BirdNest', but that really didn't work for us. We use the MailChimp plugin which massively helps us keep everything integrated. I have an Apple Watch and can see orders coming in on my wrist too which is really cool! We handle shipping internally, everything gets send to our distribution office where it's lovingly packed and shipped out worldwide.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Keep it simple but informative. People want to know what their product is and what it does, but what they DON'T want to do is trawl through paragraphs of needless text. Spend time and money on paying professionals for photography too, nothing looks worse than crappy product shots!