Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
We've been making the magazine ourselves since 2007, and had been using custom PayPal buttons until we decided to start using Shopify as our online store.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
As soon as we had a Shopify store we discovered that we were very proud of it, and so we wanted to show as many people as possible, and push as many readers/customers towards it. We told people about it at launch events, we encouraged people through social media, we linked to it with every article on the internet. We still find that linking people directly to our Shopify store from the various articles on our website is the most successful way to generate sales.
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?
The Shopify Facebook store app has been excellent for us. We have also used various cart abandonment apps, which is a subtle but useful way to encourage more sales. We have also used the Shopify POS app to sell magazine issues at our launch events and other events, which has been very handy. We handle all of our own shipping and fulfillment internally. It is extremely easy to do so using Shopify — often our volunteer interns are in charge of fulfillment, and they can pick up the system very quickly.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Always use high-quality images, especially ones that show people using your product. Ensure that your product description copy is easy to scan, and uses lots of keywords. Make full use of your Shopify theme, so that your store looks great, and is responsive to all devices. Remember that your Shopify store might be the first point of contact with your brand, so do your best to align the design and messaging on your store with your overall strategy.