Daytrader - A Financial Board Game brings you the thrills and chills of the stock market. Become a fast-thinking, investment-savvy Day Trader and navigate the volatile market with the ultimate goal of saving enough cash to retire before the other players.
I created Daytrader about three years ago when I started trading stocks and thought, "someone should really make a game about this." That is exactly what I did! I convinced my wife to play the first iteration of Daytrader on the back of a pizza box in 2011.
In 2013, Daytrader was successfully funded on crowd funding site, Kickstarter. I immediately had the first run of games manufactured and started designing the storefront on Shopify. Daytrader has been well-received by our customers and press since it's launch in November.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We launched our storefront in the last week of Nov 2013. Our first sales came in the first week of December when we launched a PR campaign about the new site. We gained a fair amount of attention on popular blogs and in holiday gift guides. I even had the opportunity to be interviewed live on Bloomberg TV. Without spending one dollar (which was great as we didn't have a dollar to spend), we earned a ton of exposure from the press. It was a huge boost in efforts to drive traffic to our storefront.
Daytrader had a great holiday season, but sales began to slump once the buzz of the media wore off and holiday shopping subsided. Our biggest challenge became finding ways to drive traffic to our site. After unsuccessfully experimenting with some pay-per-click ad campaigns, promotions and attempting to get noticed by game shops, we realized we needed to start over.
Our fans on Kickstarter were not gamers, but young professionals interested in money and trading. We had big success during the holiday period selling to customers interested in giving Daytrader as a gift, so we decided to go back to what worked best, press releases and gift shops. To date, our best channels are those who advertise for us. We'll give a few games away to sites that want to run contests and use Daytrader as a prize. This helps to gain us publicity and drive traffic back to our site. We now exclusively try to sell to local brick and mortar shops that share our appreciation for beautiful design and quality products, and it works! Since we have a gift item, it is a constant challenge to keep the traffic flowing to our site, but we've been grateful to find that once we get people to the site, the site does the rest.
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?
My core competency is, and always has been, my creativity. However, I've been surprised at how much I love the back end and business side of having a Shopify storefront. My weaknesses are now becoming great strengths thanks to all of the tools and apps that are available to business owners like myself. I love any tool or app that allows me to deliver my product more efficiently and with the customer's experience in mind.
The apps and tools are what make having a business today possible. There are so many useful resources to choose from to make our pipeline fast and efficient. The Shopify mobile app's tracking features allow me to stay on top of our orders from the moment they're placed to the moment the items are shipped.
We used to use Shipwire fulfillment to ship our orders for us, but it was destroying our bottom line. Eventually, we had our games shipped to a local storage facility and now ship all of our orders ourself with the integration of Shipstation through our Shopify account. This works extremely well and prevents the loss of a percentage on each game that we faced when using Shipwire. Shipstation is a great tool for anyone wanting to do their own order fulfillment.
Shopify offers a variety of very helpful apps that can increase your visibility on the web as well. Apps like customer reviews, Add This and Bulk Discounts are all awesome additions at no cost to the store owner.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Owning your own store is a ton of work, and its also a learning process. Don't try to bite off more than you can chew by thinking you need to do everything all at once. Also, don't be afraid to ask or seek help for things you don't know how to do. Do your research to find the right tools and apps that will make your process flow smoothly. If there is something that you wish existed to make your process smoother and more efficient, just ask...it may already exist and someone may be able to help you find it. I don't think that a single day goes by when I don't speak to a support "friend" from Shopify, Shipstation, UPS, Fedex, ect. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint and great companies can take time to fully come into their own. The availability of so many great services allows you, the store owner to focus on the aspects you're great at and to learn and grow in aspects where you may be deficient.