Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
Moomin Characters needed to set up global e-commerce operations to meet demand in places where there was no access to Moomin items. We have over 60 suppliers from around the world producing Moomin licensed products.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We started out with a custom made e-commerce store built on Spree in late 2013 but quickly discovered it wasn't going to cut it. It was too expensive to maintain, slow to use for both us and the users, and we had no access to sales data. So in late 2014 we decided to move to Shopify. The transition was painless and we quickly got the new shop up and running. Moomin has quite a large following and since switching to the new platform, we have received but praise. Emails and Facebook are big for us. Since Moomin is a unique search term, a lot of our sales come organically through Google search.
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?
One of the biggest reasons for switching to Shopify was access to apps that could instantly do what a developer takes weeks - and at a fraction of the cost. Back-in-stock is important to us since we try to keep our storage lean and it works great. We also pride ourselves with great support and Zopim together with Zendesk helps us in that. Persistent cart is also important to us as it helps us pick up customers who left too early. Nudge helps us push our free shipping option and does a great job at it. Wholesale allows us to sell both B2C and B2b - a lifesaver for us. All in all we've been able to automate a lot of things that would not have been possible with a custom made store.
We did a manual integration with one of the largest logistics players in Europe, Postnord, and we ship worldwide through them. Since half of our sales go outside the EU area, we need to fit our shipments with the right papers and our partner is able to print them straight from Shopify's interface. Through the API we have also been able to integrate on-demand together with our storage items. This is the killer feature for us.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
E-commerce is challenging since there are so many things that need to be aligned and work seamlessly. Our suggestion would be to be lean and grow organically. Do your very best and be consistent at every stage - product inventory uniqueness, store UI, payments, shipping, support, social, marketing - and you'll notice that you grow. Growth gives you confidence to continue.