Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
I had an existing business which I expanded into a sound design / sample distribution business. I started my business in the hospital while my father was passing away from cancer in 2011 using Big Cartel which I quickly grew out of. I ported my site over to Shopify during the summer of 2012 and have since changed my life. Our sounds are designed in-house or contracted by the top industry sound designers, musicians, and producers.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Mail blast to existing customer database, social media, and SEO. Most sales come from repeat customers, search engine results, & social media. Visual marketing is a huge component, although we are selling audio based products. Instagram is a growing way to directly market our products to customers and host contests, etc.
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?
ShipStation. Vendor Payout (awesome app), Fetch, and a few more. Our fulfillment is handled through Fat Beats Distribution in LA using ShipStation // Stamps.com account. Although I'm based in Alaska, I can manage my shipping from anywhere in the world using ShipWtation's cloud based app.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Delegate. The beauty of the Internet is being able to pull multiple resources to create an amazing product. If you don't specialize in something, learn about it as much as you can, and then contract it out to an expert. Building a virtual team and delegating tasks using the Internet is an amazing possibility. You can essential run a loosely knit organization without ever having or meeting an employee.