As parents to a child on the autism spectrum, we were looking for a business venture that would afford us the opportunity for one of us to work from home and have more time with our kids. Our son was a mega chewer. There wasn't much in our home that was off limits to his chewing.
His chewing seemed to escalate in times of stress and he was getting ready to go to middle school, so we knew we were all in for a stressful transition. While looking for a solution to his chewing tendencies, we came across a UK based company that had created discreet solutions for those with the need to chew. After trying the product and seeing the amazing success our son had with it, we immediately purchased the USA affiliation so that we could share this product with others in this country with similar needs. We now belong to a global company that are made up of parents, educators and clinicians. We work together as a team and rely on our strengths to come up with new products and designs.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Our first sales came to us from US based customers that were already following the product in the UK. They were over the moon to have the product available to them in the USA. We soon began going to special need trade shows and expos to expand our brand recognition. We now have our products in stores and therapy offices across the United States. Many of our sales are generated from social media traffic. We are active on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Additionally, referrals of quality products are huge in the special needs community. We rely heavily on special educators and clinicians to tell the families they serve about our products.
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?
We have a very basic operating philosophy. We use discounts to offer introductory discounts on new product lines and colors and promote special holidays.
Additionally, we use Chimpify to notify our past customers of upcoming product introductions, sales and promos. As we continue to grow and learn more about the various apps, we are certain to add others to our store.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Work your social media and referral outlets. Use third parties to do product reviews and get others talking about you either on their social media channels or blogs. Also, use Shopify support whenever it is needed. In the beginning, we were frequent callers and solicitors of information. Everyone we ever came in contact with were extremely helpful and knowledgable of the products and available apps.