Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
Stuart enjoyed the creativity and architectural designs of buildings and wanted to create an option for the events world. Initially we designed the structures and had them manufactured in Australia but we have now expanded and, due to cost efficiencies, have outsourced the manufacturing to our warehouse in China as well as other places around the world. We have very stringent controls around quality and do our own design and engineering to ensure that the structures are well balanced and up to our high standard of production.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
The business began with local advertising and demonstrating tents by our rental partners. Once they were seen in public, they brought in client enquiries and sales to our team. We now have many different ways to earn our sales such as social media, our Shopify stores, and networking events. These avenues have expanded our store to a global platform so we are now servicing all countries around the world and have a distribution network in several different places to assist with sales.
Our biggest growth is through our Shopify online store. This provides a great information source to our clients, and because we have our prices available, we get sales inquiries that are ready to purchase and have done their own research.
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 love the Tidiochat app as it allows customers to easily chat with an available contact about any questions or concerns they have. It allows for anyone in our global team to pick up the question and respond in real time. We also use the following apps: Ordoro, Remarkety, Product Description Tabs, Coupon Pop, Nudge, Social Media Stream, Persistent Cart, Perfect Audience. We use available apps to provide freight quotes to clients and we honour that quote to lock in their order. We are currently in the process of setting up a fulfillment option on our store which we hope to be able to connect to our fulfillment agent to send out our products in efficient time.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
I would begin by researching your product and getting to know what your competitors are doing (what they have on their website, who their clientele are), and then using one of the Shopify store templates to provide a showy, informative and easy-to-use website to make purchases by customers. I would then support this with the apps that are available to make the transactions easier for your clients. We find that clients are more informed and will usually want to be informed about their purchase before they start any discussion with businesses.